Nov 212022
 
 November 21, 2022  Posted by at 9:42 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  60 Responses »


Pablo Picasso Woman with blue collar (Portrait d’Inez) 1941

 

Zelensky Making Ukrainians ‘Suffer’ – Ex-japanese PM (RT)
‘All The Real Skinheads Went To Ukraine’ – American Neo-Nazi (Livshitz)
UN Tells Ukraine To Investigate Video Showing ‘Execution’ Of Russian POWs (RT)
Videos Of Execution Of Russian POWs In Ukraine Are Authentic – NYT (RT)
Ukraine Shelled Radioactive Waste Storage – Official (RT)
A Report from the Front and a Warning (Batiushka)
FTX Reveals Top 50 Creditors Are Owed $3.1 Billion, Seeks To Keep Their Names Confidential
The Covid/Crypto Connection: The Grim Saga of FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried (Tucker)
The Story Arc of SBF and FTX (Ben Hunt)
Unstoppable Crash Worse than 2008 Coming – Jim Rickards (USAW)
The Upside-down World Of Currency (Macleod)
A Step Toward National Suicide? (Conrad Black)
Arizona AG Launches Investigation Into Maricopa County (ZH)
AP: Zero Evidence Joe Biden Discussed Hunter’s Business Dealings (Turley)
Elon Musk Addresses Child Sexual Exploitation Content on Twitter (Tasm)

 

 

 

 


JP Morgan

 

 

 

 

Cracks are beginning to show in the united front.

“The Japanese media is biased towards one side. It is influenced by reports from the West. I can’t help but feel that they only rely on European and American reports..”

Zelensky Making Ukrainians ‘Suffer’ – Ex-japanese PM (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has made the people in his country “suffer,” former Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori has said. He added that the media in Japan is biased in its coverage of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. “I don’t quite understand why only [Russian President Vladimir] Putin is criticized while Mr. Zelensky isn’t taken to task at all. This is problematic. Mr. Zelensky has made many Ukrainian people suffer,” Mori said in a speech at a political event in Tokyo on Friday, as quoted by Kyodo News. “The Japanese media is biased towards one side. It is influenced by reports from the West. I can’t help but feel that they only rely on European and American reports,” he added.

Mori criticized current Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s position on the conflict as “one-sided” and being inclined towards the US. Mori also warned that Russia could “use nuclear weapons” if the situation deteriorates. Putin reaffirmed last month that Moscow will adhere to its nuclear doctrine, which states Russia would use its nuclear arsenal only in response to an attack with weapons of mass destruction or “if the existence of the state itself is at stake.”

After holding various cabinet posts in the 1980s and 90s, Mori served as prime minister from 2000-01. He later led the organizing committee of the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, but stepped down months before the event began due to a scandal over sexist remarks he made at a meeting. Japan, along with many Western countries, imposed sanctions on Russia after it launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February. Moscow responded by blacklisting more than 380 Japanese legislators and banning Kishida and other top cabinet members from entering the country.

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Hard to read.

“American Neo-Nazi Outlines The Crimes Of His Ukrainian ‘Colleagues”

‘All The Real Skinheads Went To Ukraine’ – American Neo-Nazi (Livshitz)

Earlier this month, Juan Sinmiedo, who runs a popular Telegram channel documenting human rights abuses in Ukraine, published an explosive interview with ‘Boneface’ – real name Kent McLellan – a 32-year-old Neo-Nazi from Florida who joined the fascist volunteer Right Sector group during the Donbass war, and returned to to fight alongside the Azov Battalion in January 2022. The discussion with McLellan shatters many myths and lies that have been circulated about the Maidan coup, the current conflict in Ukraine, and the disturbingly strong influence of nationalist movements within the country. McLellan, the son of the front man of Neo-Nazi rock band Brutal Attack, got involved with far-right activism while just a teenager, and had numerous run-ins with the law for subversive, racially-charged activities. He and other members of the racist organization American Front were detained by the FBI in May 2012, for preparing terrorist acts against ethnic minorities in Florida.


It was this background that led him to travel to Ukraine in 2014. The American fascist circles he moved in had direct links and regular contact with nationalist groups at the forefront of the Maidan, which at the time were hosting large public events “nearly daily in every Oblast that wasn’t seeing war.” As did far-right movements in many other nearby countries, including Finland, Georgia, and Latvia. “In case the world wonders what happened to all the real skinheads. They all went to Ukraine,” McLellan said. It seems the US government approved of the presence of McLellan and others in Ukraine at that time. He says he got caught – it’s not clear by whom or what – teaching Ukrainians DNS poisoning, and the Americans “wanted to sit in and help.” “They didn’t want names or anything, but they wanted to monitor the situation. Without this backing I would’ve been charged with violation of [the] American neutrality act,” McLellan claims.

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Yeah, Ukraine is the ideal investigator here. Like Holland is for MH17.

UN Tells Ukraine To Investigate Video Showing ‘Execution’ Of Russian POWs (RT)

The UN’s human rights monitoring mission in Ukraine has called on Kiev to probe a video that apparently shows the country’s troops executing Russian prisoners of war. Moscow has said that killing captives is a “widespread practice” by Ukraine’s armed forces. The UN body told the Associated Press on Saturday that it “is aware of the video and is looking into it,” adding: “we reiterate our call that all such allegations should be properly and promptly investigated by respective authorities.” The video itself surfaced on social media earlier this week. In it, a group of captured Russian servicemen are shown surrendering to Ukrainian troops and lying down on the ground, before a second clip shows their bodies lying motionless in pools of blood. Another clip with no sound purportedly shows a Russian soldier emerging from a building and opening fire on the Ukrainians, but it is unclear whether that clip is linked to the alleged execution.

The Russian Ministry of Defense described the video as evidence of “the deliberate and methodical murder” of the soldiers, with the Russian Presidential Human Rights Council calling the incident a “demonstrative and audacious crime.” The council demanded an international investigation, and said that it had notified the UN, Council of Europe, Amnesty International, and the International Committee of the Red Cross. “Of course, Ukrainian authorities will investigate this video,” Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Olga Stefanishina told reporters at a security conference in Canada on Saturday. However, she rushed to claim that it is “very unlikely”that the clips show a deliberate execution.

Russia’s Defense Ministry, however, said that not only does the footage depict the “barbarous killing of Russian prisoners of war,” it shows “a widespread practice of the Ukrainian Armed Forces that is actively supported by the Kiev regime and outright ignored by its Western backers.” Back in March, another shocking videoemerged showing Ukrainian troops shooting captured Russian soldiers in the legs at point-blank range, while other wounded Russians lie on the ground nearby. Countless other videos of Russian troops being mistreated by their Ukrainian captors have also surfaced online in the months since Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine began in late February.

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More cracks showing.

Videos Of Execution Of Russian POWs In Ukraine Are Authentic – NYT (RT)

The New York Times says it has verified the authenticity of videos that surfaced online last week, allegedly showing the execution of captive Russian soldiers by Ukrainian troops. The men “appear to have been shot dead at close range,”according to the newspaper. The events shown in the clips occurred in the village of Makeyevka in the People’s Republic of Lugansk mid-November, the newspaper reported on Sunday. “The videos… whose authenticity has been verified by The New York Times, offer a rare look into one gruesome moment among many in the war, but do not show how or why the Russian soldiers were killed,” the NYT wrote, adding that what actually happened to the soldiers remains “a mystery.”

However, the outlet noted out that judging by the footage, “at least 11 Russians… appear to have been shot dead at close range after one of their fellow fighters suddenly opened fire on Ukrainian soldiers standing nearby.” The NYT also cited Dr. Rohini Haar, medical adviser at Physicians for Human Rights, who said that “killing or wounding a combatant, who, having laid down his arms or having no longer means of defense, has surrendered at discretion” is a violation of the laws of international armed conflict. “It looks like most of them were shot in the head,” Haar said of the Russian soldiers in the clips. “There are pools of blood. That indicates that they were just left there dead. There appears to have been no effort to pick them up or help them.”

In one of the videos, which appeared on social media, the Russian servicemen were shown surrendering to Kiev troops and lying down on the ground, before a second clip showed their bodies lying motionless in pools of blood. Another video with no sound, which is also believed to have been made at the scene, purportedly showed a Russian soldier emerging from a building and shooting at the Ukrainians. Russia has described the clips as proof of “deliberate and methodical murder”of its soldiers by Ukraine. The UN has urged an investigation into the videos, with Kiev promising to carry out a probe.

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Courtesy of US/NATO weapons.

Ukraine Shelled Radioactive Waste Storage – Official (RT)

Ukrainian troops have shelled Europe’s biggest nuclear power plant over the last two days, Renat Karchaa, an adviser at Russia’s state nuclear operator Rosenergoatom, said. Karchaa said the Zaporozhye Nuclear Power Plant was targeted on Sunday morning following a barrage fired at the facility the previous day, when six projectiles hit the cooling system of one of the rectors and two struck the radioactive waste storage. He added that the employees were unharmed. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the plant was shelled twice on Sunday, while 11 “large-caliber artillery shells” were fired on Saturday. The ministry said that projectiles fell close to the reactors, and that the fire was also directed at power lines. “It is impossible to assess the consequences of the shelling because there is a danger of new attacks,” Karchaa said.


The plant had not been targeted that much since late September. according to the official. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), whose team is monitoring the situation on the ground, said that “more than a dozen blasts were heard within a short period of time” on Sunday. It added that experts could see some of the explosions from their windows. “Whoever is behind this, it must stop immediately. As I have said many times before, you’re playing with fire!” IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi said. Russian soldiers seized the plant shortly after Moscow launched its military operation in Ukraine in late February. Zaporozhye Region, together with three other former Ukrainian territories, eventually joined Russia after holding referendums on the matter in September.

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“Moscow is 1,600 kilometres from Berlin, around 2,500 kilometres from Rome, Paris and London. You know it makes sense. You could be nice and warm soon.”

A Report from the Front and a Warning (Batiushka)

Many work from home, or used to. That is difficult now, because at best you only have three to four hours of electricity before it goes off for at least the same amount of time. There is no light. And then even the best batteries in a computer mean that you lose power after an hour or two – that is, if you have the internet, which is not all the time. And remember to charge up your phone as soon as the power comes back on. The power will not last and may go off all day. You have no way of knowing. And when the power goes off, the boiler also goes off. No heating, no hot water. The windows are taped across in Xs against possible missile blasts, which would cause the glass to shatter. My relatives saw a missile going over last May. It landed in Kiev.

And sometimes the washing machine will stop half-way through the cycle. Power-cut. That is inconvenient. And always remember to carry a flashlight in your pocket or handbag and have at least one other one in the house. Many are using Swedish-made primus stoves to cook – if you can get one and the refills. Some Swedes are doing well out of this. As for shopping, well, the opening hours change with the power cuts, though corner shops remain open, if dark. And of course, Kiev has gone back to a cash economy. The card machines will not work – no electricity. Hopefully, the bank cash dispensers will get restocked often enough. That is, if you have money in your account. My relatives do not have a car. Many of the Ukrainians who are wealthy enough to have cars drove to the West last March/April/May with their recruitment age sons (bribes of up to $5,000 a time to the border guards, who left last), and now live in cramped quarters in the houses of Western people naïve enough and once prosperous enough to take them.

My relatives are very lucky because they can get on minibuses to take them to their house in the country. Just a wooden affair, but there are vegetables there, especially potatoes, and lots of firewood. They had a busy summer in the large vegetable garden. They prepared for the winter, picking, bottling and pickling. The only way of heating there is putting wood in the stove. No gas, but then you do not need any. And you can even live without electricity, as there is a stock of candles. The only thing – it gets really cold there in the winter, -20 or -30 outside, -10 inside, unless you heat constantly. So you stay inside as much as possible and prepare lots of dry firewood for years before.

All of this is a warning to Western Europe. I know you are being distracted by the World Cup soccer circus. Do not be. You too voted for US puppet-leaders like Zelensky? You too wanted to be Ukrainianised by the US? Then this is your future too. You have been warned. I have friends in Latvia, Lithuania and Moldova. They are already living like this. This is a virus that is creeping westwards towards you. You are seeing your future – unless you can get rid of your pro-Nazi puppet-governments in time. Elect Russia-friendly governments. Make friends with your neighbours next door, in the east of Europe. (Never heard of ‘love your neighbour’?). Moscow is 1,600 kilometres from Berlin, around 2,500 kilometres from Rome, Paris and London. You know it makes sense. You could be nice and warm soon.

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Can’t really call this “the smart money”, can you?

FTX Reveals Top 50 Creditors Are Owed $3.1 Billion, Seeks To Keep Their Names Confidential

Amid the frenzied scramble to divulge all of FTX’s dirty secrets, including where the fate of those $8 billion in stolen client funds which were handed over to Alameda ahead of the largest crypto exchange bankruptcy in history, there is one topic that the company’s new CEO (and one-time Enron liquidator) John J. Ray wants to keep under wraps: the identity of its creditors (and FTX clients). Consider the following curious sequence of events that developed over the past week (conveniently summarized by the FT’s Kadhim Shubber): on Monday, FTX said that it will file a list of its top 50 creditors “on or before November 18”). Just one day later, in John J. Ray’s Affidavit in Support of First Day Motion, FTX revealed that this may be a problem since “the Debtors are unable to create a list of their top 50 creditors that includes customers without access tot he data repositories at issues.”

Fast forward to Saturday when in a surprise twist, the Enron liquidator is now asking the judge to keep the names of the company’s creditors and customers (which we assume have been identified), confidential in order to “protect the estate or any entity in respect of a trade secret or other confidential research, development or commercial information.” In retrospect, considering that FTX previously estimated that it has over 1 million creditors – which ostensibly includes all clients of the FTX brokerage from the smallest mom and pop investors to massive Chinese money laundering whales – this is probably not all that surprising, although it will be interesting to see how Judge John Dorsey, who is the appointed Delaware Bankruptcy Court judge on the FTX bankruptcy, will rule on November 22, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. (at Courtroom #5 on the 5th floor at 824 North Market Street in Wilmington) when the First Day hearing takes place.

As an aside, since the creditors of FTX also includes FTX clients, one wonders if there is a political push to keep certain names hidden, despite official denials? [..] Tangentially, as the FT notes in other recent cryptocurrency bankruptcy cases involving Voyager Digital and Celsius Networks, “a key legal question has been determining whether account holders are unsecured creditors or have a higher priority status in determining who gets recovery payments first. Another question likely to arise is whether account holders who withdrew their money just before the bankruptcy filing are subject to clawbacks.” And in a separate filing pushed out later on Saturday, FTX published a list of its top unsecured 50 creditors – with all names and addresses redacted – which shows that the largest creditor (or is that FTX customer) had $226 million parked at the company, and that all of the top 10 creditors had over $100 million in debt with FTX.

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“For some reason, SBF just knew that he was supposed to oppose repurposed drugs, though he knew nothing about the subject at all.”

The Covid/Crypto Connection: The Grim Saga of FTX and Sam Bankman-Fried (Tucker)

A series of revealing texts and tweets by Sam Bankman-Fried, the disgraced CEO of FTX, the once high-flying but now belly-up crypto exchange, had the following to say about his image as a do-gooder: it is a “dumb game we woke westerners play where we say all the right shibboleths and so everyone likes us.” Very interesting. He had the whole game going: a vegan worried about climate change, supports every manner of justice (racial, social, environmental) except that which is coming for him, and shells out millions to worthy charities associated with the left. He also bought plenty of access and protection in D.C., enough to make his shady company the toast of the town.

As part of the mix, there is this thing called pandemic planning. We should know what that is by now: it means you can’t be in charge of your life because there are bad viruses out there. As bizarre as it seems, and for reasons that are still not entirely clear, favoring lockdowns, masks, and vaccine passports became part of the woke ideological stew. This is particularly strange because covid restrictions have been proven, over and over, to harm all the groups about whom woke ideology claims to care so deeply. That includes even animal rights: who can forget the Danish mink slaughter of 2020? Regardless, it’s just true. Masking became a symbol of being a good person, same as vaccinating, veganism, and flying into fits at the drop of a hat over climate change. None of this has much if anything to do with science or reality.

It’s all tribal symbolism in the name of group political solidarity. And FTX was pretty good at it, throwing around hundreds of millions to prove the company’s loyalty to all the right causes. Among them included the pandemic-planning racket. That’s right: there were deep connections between FTX and Covid that have been cultivated for two years. Let’s have a look. Earlier this year, the New York Times trumpeted a study that showed no benefit at all to the use of Ivermectin. It was supposed to be definitive. The study was funded by FTX. Why? Why was a crypto exchange so interested in the debunking of repurposed drugs in order to drive governments and people into the use of patented pharmaceuticals, even those like Remdesivir that didn’t actually work? Inquiring minds would like to know.

Regardless, the study and especially the conclusions turned out to be bogus. David Henderson and Charles Hooper further point out an interesting fact: “Some of the researchers involved in the TOGETHER trial had performed paid services for Pfizer, Merck, Regeneron, and AstraZeneca, all companies involved in developing COVID-19 therapeutics and vaccines that nominally compete with ivermectin.” For some reason, SBF just knew that he was supposed to oppose repurposed drugs, though he knew nothing about the subject at all. He was glad to fund a poor study to make it true and the New York Times played its assigned role in the whole performance.

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I greatly appreciate Ben Hunt’s expertise and analysis here, but in one aspect I have to disagree. I do not believe that FTX is like Bernie Ebbers or Bernie Madoff, who didn’t “start off doing outright fraud” but gradually became a Ponzi. I think FTX was set up to be one. I also think SBF was not the brain behind it, but merely the figurehead. The amounts are too high, and the links to Ukraine and Big Pharma and DNC are too strong. This is not one kid’s brainchild.

The Story Arc of SBF and FTX (Ben Hunt)

I know it seems like I’m making this up, because obviously this cannot happen in the real world. And yet it did. When SBF filed for bankruptcy on FTX.com, Serum was the largest “asset” listed at $2.2 billion, because they had a bajillion of these coins stashed away. The tradable market cap of Serum? $60-something million as of when I’m writing this (probably lower now), because only a minute fraction of a bajillion of these coins (~3%) were actually real, as in they were actually exchanged for value in the real world. A value, of course, that plummeted once this sleight of hand was revealed. That’s the thing about Magical Money Machines and magic tricks alike, they’re not nearly so impressive once you show everyone the trick. But anyhoo, all of these magic tricks get revealed much later.

Right now it’s 2019 and everything is going much better for SBF now that he’s got his flow business established. As a brokerage AND a market-maker AND a hedge fund, his situation is 1,000% better than just being a hedge fund. There’s just one problem. Accounts. Up to now it’s been fantastic setting up all these companies in the Bahamas. No SEC or other pesky US regulators. We can say whatever we like in our marketing documents, like “HIGH RETURNS WITH NO RISK” in all caps. We can issue unregistered bullshit securities like FTT to our heart’s content. But the downside for FTX.com the crypto exchange/brokerage is that they can’t take US accounts. The Big Kahuna of capital and liquidity – the United States – is largely cut off to them. So SBF has gotta do something about that if he’s going to make some real money.

The answer is to set up a brand new crypto exchange/brokerage in the United States, named FTX US (not to be confused with the mothership, FTX.com, oh no we wouldn’t want any confusion about the names! LOL) and subject to US regulatory authority through the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). FTX US was launched concurrently with a massive Super Bowl/Larry David/Tom Brady-centered ad campaign in Jan/Feb 2022. FTX US is an “affiliate” of FTX.com, meaning that they have overlapping but not identical ownership and management structures (SBF is the largest shareholder and CEO of both entities), but for regulatory purposes they are entirely separate entities, with FTX US subsidiaries holding the necessary commodity market-making licenses from the CFTC to operate in the US. Importantly, custody of the FTX US client accounts can’t (easily) be transferred to FTX.com and neither can the client money.

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“You can’t put it back together. You’ve got to go get a new vase. We broke the vase, and we are shopping for a new one. We are not there yet. We are just cleaning up the mess..”

Unstoppable Crash Worse than 2008 Coming – Jim Rickards (USAW)

Six-time, best-selling financial author James Rickards says the upcoming book “Sold Out” lays out the case why a huge crash is already a certainty sometime in 2023. In a nutshell, broken supply chains have already caused big inflation, and the Fed is raising rates to tamp it back down. On top of the perfect storm of inflation and prolonged supply problems, we have the recent meltdown of the FTX crypto currency exchange. Rickards says, “It is definitely going to cause sequential collapses in the crypto world, but will it jump the fence into the broader financial world? My expectation is it will, but it can take six months or more to play out. . . . We probably have an acute global financial crisis coming anyway. If FTX never existed, I would say we are staring at a worse financial crisis than 2008.

Throw FTX on top of that, and it’s like throwing gasoline on a fire. It will accelerate the fire. So, we’re probably going to have problems anyway, but the FTX implosion just makes it worse.” As far as the dwindling supply chains, Rickards says, “The old supply chain has collapsed. A new supply chain will emerge, and I talk about that in my book and what it will look like. Right now, we are in a very messy middle period where things don’t work well. It’s like a vase. You knock over a vase, and it breaks into 5,000 pieces. You can’t put it back together. You’ve got to go get a new vase. We broke the vase, and we are shopping for a new one. We are not there yet. We are just cleaning up the mess. . . . Russia invades Ukraine.

The Ukrainian plastic conduit factory shuts down, and all of a sudden, the BMW production lines are shut down because they cannot get a part. Again, this is another example of how this is all falling apart, and it’s not going to be put back together quickly. There will be a new supply chain, and I call it supply chain 2.0, but we are in that in between time, and it’s going to be just a mess.” Rickards says the Fed is going to keep raising rates because that is what they keep telling the public. Rickards says, “They are telling us what they are going to do, and you should believe them.” Rickards says we do have inflation, and it’s going to be with us for awhile, but we are also going to get deflation too. Rickards points out, “Why does Warren Buffett and Brookshire Hathaway have $130 billion in cash? Buffett is one of the greatest investors of all time. Why isn’t he out there buying stocks? Again, why does he have $130 billion in cash? It’s because Buffett sees what I see.

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“They will hang on to the myth of its use value until its debasement can no longer be ignored.”

The Upside-down World Of Currency (Macleod)

So long as currency and associated forms of credit are firmly attached to money such that there are minimal differences between their values, there should be no price for them either, other than a value difference arising from counterparty risk. A further distinction between money and currencies can arise if their users suspect that the link might break down. It was the breakdown in this relationship between gold and the dollar that led to the failure of the Bretton Woods agreement in 1971. Therefore, in all logic it is legal money that has no price. But does that mean that when its value differs from that of money, does currency have a price? Not necessarily. So long as currency operates as a medium of exchange, it has a value and not a price.

We can say that a dollar is valued at 0.0005682 ounces of gold, or gold is valued at 1760 dollars. As a legacy of the dollar’s regression from the days when it was on a gold standard, we still attribute no price to the dollar, but now we attribute a price to gold. To do so is technically incorrect. Perhaps an argument for this state of affairs is that gold is subject to Gresham’s law, being hoarded rather than spent. It is the medium of exchange of last resort so rarely circulates. Nevertheless, fiat currencies have consistently lost value relative to legal money, which is gold, so much so that the dollar has lost 98% since the suspension of Bretton Woods, and sterling has lost 99%. Over fifty-one years, the process has been so gradual that users of unanchored currencies as their media of exchange have failed to notice it.

This gradual loss of purchasing power relative to gold can continue indefinitely, so long as the conditions that have permitted it to happen remain without causing undue alarm. Furthermore, for lack of a replacement it is highly inconvenient for currency users to consider that their currency might be valueless. They will hang on to the myth of its use value until its debasement can no longer be ignored.

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“The three-quarters of Americans who correctly consider that America is now on the wrong track can’t be sold Trump again..”

A Step Toward National Suicide? (Conrad Black)

[..] the fact that Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser paid no attention to Trump’s warnings that matters could get out of hand and his offer of 20,000 National Guardsmen indicates the Democrats’ role was a good deal less innocent than they pretend. But Trump knew what desperate and sleazy people he was dealing with, and he doesn’t have a credible excuse for being so reckless. This condemned him to having to continue to emphasize the 2020 election irregularities in order to justify his calling forth such a huge and discontented crowd at the Washington Elipse on Jan. 6, 2021. Of course, he no more sought an insurrection than Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) did.

The only way to complete Trump’s work and root out and politically exterminate those who have corrupted the intelligence and justice arms of the federal government and have dragooned the contemptible but still insidiously influential national political media in full metal jacket Trump-hate, is for Trump to identify and support the successor whom he favors as Republican presidential candidate. He shouldn’t go back to his 2016 playbook and insult all the other prominent Republicans. He has exchanged enough fire with his Republican enemies, contemptible though many of them are, and did well to win the first round and come so close in the second. The third round last week was an acute disappointment, and the Republican Party doesn’t need, and the American public doesn’t wish for, an internecine war on the scale that would rage if Trump sought another presidential nomination.

But another candidate plausibly pledged to the enactment of the Trump program and supported by Trump but not stigmatized by him, could lead the desperately needed national political purgation. For the first time in its history, with this administration, the public policy of the United States is now heavily influenced by a chronically woke, largely America-hating rag-tag of subversives, charlatans, and maladjusted zealots who believe that America is a guilty country that needs to be substantially deconstructed and morally humiliated. The three-quarters of Americans who correctly consider that America is now on the wrong track can’t be sold Trump again, but they would support a Trump-endorsed candidate advocating the Trump program. That’s now the best that can be done.

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Still counting.

Arizona AG Launches Investigation Into Maricopa County (ZH)

The Arizona attorney general’s office has launched an investigation into irregularities in Maricopa County’s handling of the midterm elections.AG Mark Brnovich’s election integrity unit has demanded a full report of well-publicized irregularities, and what he claims is evidence of “statutory violations.” The letter, sent late Saturday by Assistant AG Jennifer Wright to the county’s top civil division attorney, Thomas Liddy, is a major escalation over widespread problems with voting tabulators and printers, which delayed the declaration of a winner in razor-thin races in the attorney general’s race and the gubernatorial race. Gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has questioned the media’s premature declaration that her opponent, Democrat Katie Hobbs – who wasn’t exactly popular, won.


The letter demands a full report on how voting machine and printer issues were handled, along with a copy of each polling location’s Official Ballot Report, as well as explanations for any discrepancies. Wright also demanded that the evidence be turned over before the final vote certification which is due Nov. 28. “These complaints go beyond pure speculation, but include first-hand witness accounts that raise concerns regarding Maricopa’s lawful compliance with Arizona election law,” reads the letter. “Furthermore, statements made by both Chairman Gates and Recorder Richer, along with information Maricopa County released through official modes of communication appear to confirm potential statutory violations of title 16.” Among the potential legal violations are poll workers giving improper instructions to voters whose ballot tabulations were delayed by the issues.

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“I thought the article released online, it’s going to be printed tomorrow in the Times, was good. I think you’re clear.”

AP: Zero Evidence Joe Biden Discussed Hunter’s Business Dealings (Turley)

[..] this weekend, the Associated Press made a whopper of a claim that there is no evidence even suggesting that President Joe Biden ever spoke to his son about his foreign dealings. I previously discussed how the Bidens have succeeded in a Houdini-like trick in making this elephant of a scandal disappear from the public stage. They did so by enlisting the media in the illusion. However, this level of audience participation in the trick truly defies belief. The statement of the Associated Press at this stage of the scandal is breathtaking but telling: “Joe Biden has said he’s never spoken to his son about his foreign business, and nothing the Republicans have put forth suggests otherwise.” For years, the media has continued to report President Biden’s repeated claim that “I have never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”

At the outset, the media only had to suspend any disbelief that the president could fly to China as Vice President with his son on Air Force 2 without discussing his planned business dealings on the trip. Of course, the emails on the laptop quickly refuted this claim. However, the media buried the laptop story before the election or pushed the false claim that it was fake Russian disinformation. President Biden’s denials continued even after an audiotape surfaced showing President Biden leaving a message for Hunter specifically discussing coverage of those dealings. The call is specifically referring to these dealings: “Hey pal, it’s Dad. It’s 8:15 on Wednesday night. If you get a chance just give me a call. Nothing urgent. I just wanted to talk to you. I thought the article released online, it’s going to be printed tomorrow in the Times, was good. I think you’re clear. And anyway if you get a chance give me a call, I love you.”

But who are you going to believe, the media or your own ears. Some of us have written for two years that Biden’s denial of knowledge is patently false. It was equally evident that the Biden family was selling influence and access. There are emails of Ukrainian and other foreign clients thanking Hunter Biden for arranging meetings with his father. There are photos from dinners and meetings that tie President Biden to these figures, including a 2015 dinner with a group of Hunter Biden’s Russian and Kazakh clients. People apparently were told to avoid directly referring to President Biden. In one email, Tony Bobulinski, then a business partner of Hunter’s, was instructed by Biden associate James Gilliar not to speak of the former veep’s connection to any transactions:

“Don’t mention Joe being involved, it’s only when u [sic] are face to face, I know u [sic] know that but they are paranoid.” Instead, the emails apparently refer to President Biden with code names such as “Celtic” or “the big guy.” In one, “the big guy” is discussed as possibly receiving a 10 percent cut on a deal with a Chinese energy firm; other emails reportedly refer to Hunter Biden paying portions of his father’s expenses and taxes. Bobulinski has given multiple interviews that he met twice with Joe Biden to discuss a business deal in China with CEFC China Energy Co. That would seem obvious evidence. In addition, the New York Post reported on a key email that discussed “the proposed percentage distribution of equity in a company created for a joint venture with CEFC China Energy Co.” That was the email on March 13, 2017 that included references of “10 held by H for the big guy.”

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Priority #1. Can you believe @jack never did anything about it? And those 1000s of woke censors who silenced Trump and all the doctors?

Elon Musk Addresses Child Sexual Exploitation Content on Twitter (Tasm)

Elon Musk has begun addressing the issue of posting child sexual exploitation content on Twitter after years of the platform’s inactivity on the subject under past management. Previously, the platform did not comprehensively address the issue of publishing content that demonstrates the sexual exploitation of children. The problem of publishing pornographic content showing child sexual exploitation (CSE) on various Internet resources is deeply disturbing. While many platforms are fighting this by using tools that allow them to find and remove such content, Twitter, before it was bought by Elon Musk, did not put any real effort into this for years.

Eliza Bleu, a survivor of human trafficking and an advocate for victims, has taken this fight to the next level. In an interview with Tesmanian, she said that for the past two years she has been trying to get Twitter to take concrete steps, while other advocates have been working on this for 10 years. All this time, Twitter has not actually done anything meaningful to combat the problem. For ten years, the platform has not had a proper reporting form for content containing child sexual abuse material. Thanks to the efforts of Eliza and those who supported her, in February 2022, Twitter added a feature to easily report child sexual exploitation material, which was a huge victory in a years-long struggle.

However, a few months later, Twitter “took the easy reporting system for minor survivors away.” This was deeply disturbing news, as it is difficult to find a reasonable reason why the ability for platform users to easily report about CSE content has been removed. On October 28, Twitter, with all its problems, many of which were hidden, was sold to Elon Musk. Eliza now had to work with the new CEO to find a solution. Already on November 19, she shared the progress of their cooperation, emphasizing that the new management of the company takes the CSE problem seriously and published amazing news: the three most popular hashtags used to sell child sexual abuse material on Twitter are almost completely cleaned out.

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Nov 192022
 


Rembrandt van Rijn The resurrection of Christ 1639

 

Towards the Real New World Order (Batiushka)
US Lectures Allies Over Poland Missile Incident – Politico (RT)
‘The US Won’t Sacrifice Chicago For Warsaw’ (Misnik)
A Smoldering Fuse (Jim Kunstler)
‘Aid To Ukraine,’ the US Democratic Party And The Collapse Of FTX (Livshitz)
FTX Boss Accused Of Using Offshore Funds After Bankruptcy (RT)
Ukraine – Switching The Lights Off (MoA)
Ukraine Has Lost 40% Of Energy System As Kyiv Sees First Snow (ZH)
Ukraine Is ‘War Between West And Russia’ – Turkish Official (RT)
Former Trump Advisor: Biden Admin Has No End Goal For Ukraine War (JTN)
Russian Oil Price Cap Idea ‘Ridiculous’ – Former US Treasury Secretary (RT)
DOJ Appoints Special Counsel For Trump Probes, But What About Hunter? (JTN)
MTG Says Kevin McCarthy, House GOP Will Defund Trump Special Counsel (JTN)
G20 Pushes Vaccine Passports For All Future International Travel (ZH)
Colin Campbell: A Tribute To The Father Of The Concept Of “Peak Oil” (Ugo Bardi)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alex Jones

 

 

 

 

Meloni

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“..Kiev, Warsaw, the Baltics and in London, they should remember what the Americans did to Hussein and Bin Laden. They are quite capable of doing the same again, pulling the plug on them all.”

Towards the Real New World Order (Batiushka)

Now we are talking about a real ‘New World Order’. This is being fought for in the Ukraine and in world political and economic fora at this very moment. And its ideological and military leader is the Russian Federation, the only country with the guts to lead the real New World Order. This will be to its credit for as long as the world lasts. In this context the Saker has written an excellent article, titled with the following hypothetical question: “What would a Russian Defeat Mean for the People of the West?” Although the Saker has given an excellent answer, I would give my own, which is a summary of his. This is: A Russian defeat at the hands of the ‘Combined West’ would mean the end of the world and therefore no New World Order.

Fear not, since Russia is not about to be defeated, the world is not going to end just yet and there is going to be, and there already is, a New World Order. Let us be frank, the Combined West has attacked Russia again and again in history. Many do not know that the Teutonic Knights in the thirteenth century were international, pan-Western. The Napoleonic Invasion of 1812 was carried out by twelve Western nationalities. The Crimean War, i. e., the 1854 Invasion of Russia, was carried out by the French, the British, the Ottomans and the Sardinians. As for the Austro-Hungarian Army and the Kaiser’s Army in 1914, that too was an effort of the Combined West, and if it had not been for the Revolution, Russia would have taken Vienna and Berlin later in 1917. And Hitler’s invasion 27 years later was equally multinational.

And such is the case today, with the Kiev regime’s mercenary army, armed by multinational NATO. Today the US mentors of the Kiev regime are desperate for peace talks to begin. Peace could have been had at any time between February 2014 and April 2022. The US did not want it then and did not allow it then, so now they will have to pay the price. The US elite knows that they are about to lose big time. This is their last chance and the last chance for the former Ukraine – for that is what we are talking about now. Like so many, these Americans have big mouths, but when it comes to it, it is all just hot air. And although Russia is talking at the US request in order to keep channels open, it is ignoring ridiculous American demands.

Today Russia has no reason to talk. It is successfully fighting against and so demilitarising NATO in the Ukraine. Everybody knows it. However, we are also at a dangerous moment because the US is losing control of its puppets. Just as it promoted Hussein in Iraq or Bin Laden in Afghanistan, ISIS in Syria and any number of Latin American gangster-puppets and then lost control of them because they refused to behave as puppets, so they risk losing control now. The lickspittle Kiev regime and its allies in Poland, the Baltics and even in the UK (there they have been singing even pop songs with an American accent for over sixty years) are being more American than the Americans. The pupil is worse than the teacher.

The recent provocation of a Ukrainian missile landing in Poland and the Poles and Latvians claiming it was Russian is an example, The Americans refused to fall for it. Before that the threat of a dirty bomb being prepared by the Kiev regime was another example. Alarmed, the Americans stopped that nonsense. The UK’s anti-German destruction of the Nordstream pipeline was yet another example. The culprit was covered up, just as the Americans covered up the culprits of MH-17. In Kiev, Warsaw, the Baltics and in London, they should remember what the Americans did to Hussein and Bin Laden. They are quite capable of doing the same again, pulling the plug on them all.

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Warsaw and Kiev try to drag the US directly into war, but the US refuses.

US Lectures Allies Over Poland Missile Incident – Politico (RT)

US officials have called on their European and Ukrainian counterparts to tread lightly when commenting on a deadly missile blast in Poland, Politico reported on Thursday. According to three Western officials interviewed by the outlet, over the last couple of days US officials have asked their European colleagues and the office of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky to be careful when speaking about what caused the blast. They also reportedly made a series of urgent phone calls in which they requested that their NATO allies not make any definitive statements until an investigation is carried out. The outreach efforts come as Western and Ukrainian officials have been at loggerheads about who was responsible for the explosion in the Polish village of Przewodow close to the Ukrainian border that killed two people.

While Western officials have said that the blast was probably caused by a Ukrainian missile, Kiev insists that it was Russian in origin. According to Politico, these statements “illustrate one of the first major divergences in opinion between Washington and Kiev” since the start of Russia’s military campaign in the neighboring state in late February. US officials are trying to downplay this rift, but new fissures between Washington and Kiev may emerge as the conflict drags on, the report says. According to Heather Conley, a former State Department official, the “confusion” surrounding the Poland missile incident was a “really important test run” for the US, NATO, and Ukraine. “I think we all learned a pretty valuable lesson in [that] you cannot say something right off the bat until you understand what it is … because the stakes are so high right now,” she told Politico.

Following the Tuesday blast, Zelensky pinned the blame on Russia, calling the incident “a very serious escalation” and describing it as an attack on NATO and demanding a response. Later, however, he toned down his claims, admitting that “we do not know 100%” what caused the blast. The Russian Defense Ministry denied any involvement in the incident, saying its military experts had analyzed the photos from the scene and identified the debris as parts of an S-300 air defense system missile used by Ukraine.

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And here’s why the US refuses.

By Lidia Misnik, a Moscow-based reporter focused on the political process, sociology and international relations.

‘The US Won’t Sacrifice Chicago For Warsaw’ (Misnik)

“We approached the moment of truth in the confrontation between the collective West and Russia. When it happened, it became clear that an attack by Russia could be claimed. This situation tested the effectiveness of NATO’s strategy for ensuring the security of the collective West,” Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for US and Canadian Studies Vladimir Vasiliev told RT. He noted that the incident itself featured an element of happenstance, but that it helped shed light on a long-standing question: To what extent is the West prepared to invoke Article Five to defend NATO members? As Vasiliev noted, in this situation, the West “put the brakes on everything,” and the US quickly took cover behind the version that it was a Ukrainian rocket.

“There was always a question about the extent to which the US would be prepared to intervene on behalf of Riga, Vilnius, or Warsaw, and in doing so sacrifice Boston, Chicago, or California. And now it becomes clear that there is a problem and that the US is not willing to sacrifice its own security, its own territories,” Vasiliev said. In his words, this episode is extremely important for Russia, because it shows that the US is not prepared to invoke Article Five until there is a danger to the country itself or at least to some of the most important member states of the bloc, primarily Western Europe. “There is a certain understanding that conflicts such as this one should be resolved by others. The US will gladly put Poland, the Baltic States, Bulgaria, and Romania in the line of fire while itself staying out of the war zone.

That’s where the entire NATO architecture begins to crumble. Domestic politics will always take precedence,” Vasiliev added. From this situation, he believes, a far-reaching conclusion can be drawn: Ukraine in any shape or form is not wanted by NATO. Vasiliev says it is clear that the US is playing a geopolitical game against Russia by using Ukraine, which is expendable. This allows the vital interests of Washington to remain untouched. According to him, the countries of Eastern Europe are equally considered not to be vital interests, as are Finland and Sweden, and likely Türkiye.

The calm before the storm in Ukraine – MacGregor

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“This complex fraud will smolder for a few weeks before it explodes into an extinction-grade event for the Democratic Party..”

A Smoldering Fuse (Jim Kunstler)

Thirty-seven billion more dollars for Ukraine? (That’s thirty-seven thousand millions of dollars, by the way.) Bringing the total this year to a click-or-two over ninety billion (ninety-thousand millions), on top of whatever Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX company funneled through that sad-sack international money laundromat — soon to be the darkest backwater of a European failed state since Field Marshal Melchior von Hatzfeldt of Westphalia left Bohemia a corpse-strewn wasteland after the Battle of Jankau (1645). It really doesn’t matter how much more money we pound down that rat-hole, you understand, because by the time various parties — the weapons-makers, Volodymyr Zelensky, sundry members of the US House of Representatives, the Biden family, the World Economic Forum — are finished creaming off their fair shares, poor Ukraine won’t have enough cash-on-hand to replace six fuse-boxes in Zaporizhzhia.

Against this backdrop, the USA enters a holiday season near-death spiral as unspooling scandals battle a collapsing economy for supremacy of the alt news sites. Case-in-point: the aforementioned FTX monkey business, a metastasizing tumor of the body politic. This complex fraud will smolder for a few weeks before it explodes into an extinction-grade event for the Democratic Party. The usual suspects among the mainstream media are trying strenuously to ignore it, but the shreds of this exploding money-borg are already sticking to guilty parties far and wide across the political landscape like so much rotting flesh.

FTX commander-in-chief Sam Bankman-Fried remains at large after steering the crypto-currency trading platform into a bankruptcy so hideously tangled that the assigned liquidator in court proceedings, one John Ray III, who oversaw the Enron aftermath years ago, was boggled by what he’s found so far (and it’s early in the game): Namely, a company run by a handful of twenty-something drug freaks with no idea what they were doing, no record-keeping, and a slime trail of misappropriated investors’ funds leading to Kiev and Geneva through various crooked American political action committees, and the halls of Congress — with echos in ballot harvesting shenanigans which shaped the outcome of this month’s US elections.

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“Bankman-Fried has boasted of meeting policymakers in Washington “every two or three weeks for the last year.”

‘Aid To Ukraine,’ the US Democratic Party And The Collapse Of FTX (Livshitz)

Bankman-Fried is a very well-connected figure indeed in US politics. Over the course of the 2020 presidential election cycle, he contributed $5.2 million to two super PACs supporting Joe Biden’s campaign, and was the overall second-largest individual donor to Biden that year. Such extravagant spending appears trivial today. In 2021/22, he provided tens of millions to Democratic causes and candidates, becoming the party’s second-largest donor, behind only “spyless coup” specialist George Soros. Bankman-Fried has boasted of meeting policymakers in Washington “every two or three weeks for the last year.” Over 2022, this has included multiple audiences with senior government officials and top Biden advisers at the White House. These meetings escalated in volume around the time that the Ukraine conflict began.

On March 7, exactly one week before Aid for Ukraine was launched, his brother Gabe Bankman-Fried – who directs his political operations – visited the White House along with Jenna Narayanan, a Democratic strategist who once worked for the Democracy Alliance, which has been called the “most powerful liberal donor club” in the US. Bankman-Fried himself then visited the White House on numerous occasions in April and May, concurrent with him donating $865,000 to the Democratic National Committee. In early June, mere days after his last recorded White House meet-and-greet, Bankman-Fried announced he would invest up to $1 billion in further funds between then and 2024 to guarantee Biden – or whoever might take his place – won the next presidential election. These activities have been interpreted by many as an attempt by Bankman-Fried to ingratiate himself with politicians to further his commercial interests.

It is certainly true that, at the same time, he and FTX high-rankers were attempting to influence US lawmakers on crypto regulation, to make the market more favorable for his company. In this context, the promised $1 billion appears to be a dangled carrot, an implied promise of future financing if Bankman-Fried got his way. Accompanying him on some of these visits was Mark Wetjen, FTX head of policy and regulatory strategy, who previously served as commissioner on the Commodity Futures Trading Commission under President Barack Obama – but only some. Were the other meetings related to Ukraine? If so, the $1 billion pledge may have reflected what Bankman-Fried thought could be secretly skimmed from Aid for Ukraine for Democratic Party purposes. It’s conspicuous that in mid-October, he completely disowned that enormous commitment, saying, “That was a dumb quote. I think my messaging was sloppy and inconsistent in some cases.”

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“BAHAMAS GOVT ORDERED BANKMAN-FRIED TO HACK FTX SYSTEM AND TRANSFER ASSETS TO THE BAHAMAS GOVT ACCOUNT: COURT FILING”

BAHAMAS SECURITIES REGULATOR SAYS IT ORDERED FTX CRYPTO WALLETS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO GOVERNMENT WALLETS

SAM BANKMAN STOLE $300 MILLION OF THE $420 MILLION FTX RAISED FROM INVESTORS LAST YEAR IN OCTOBER. (WSJ)

SBF’s lawyers at Paul Weiss have dropped him as a client: “We informed Mr. Bankman-Fried several days ago, after the filing of the FTX bankruptcy, that conflicts have arisen that precluded us from representing him”

FTX Boss Accused Of Using Offshore Funds After Bankruptcy (RT)

The collapsed cryptocurrency exchange FTX has provided court evidence suggesting that its former CEO, Sam Bankman-Fried, had transferred digital assets belonging to the company to regulators in the Bahamas just after filing for bankruptcy. In a bombshell emergency court filing on Thursday, FTX claimed that the government of the Bahamas directed Bankman-Fried to gain “unauthorized access” while in custody. While thousands of clients have been denied access to their funds, millions of dollars in crypto reportedly continued to be drained from FTX wallets over the weekend through a back door in the Bahamas. The filing cited an interview published by Vox on Wednesday, in which Bankman-Fried expressed disdain for regulators. “F**k regulators,” he said in the interview, adding: “They make everything worse. They don’t protect customers at all.” “You know what was maybe my biggest single f**k up?” he asked. “Chapter 11.”


The motion lodged by FTX in the US Bankruptcy Court in Delaware says the alleged conduct puts “in serious question” a request by regulators in the Bahamas for recognition as liquidators in the bankruptcy. “[I]n connection with investigating a hack on Sunday, November 13, Mr. Bankman-Fried and [FTX co-founder Gary] Wang, stated in recorded and verified texts that ‘Bahamas regulators’ instructed that certain post-petition transfers of Debtor assets be made by Mr. Wang and Mr. Bankman-Fried (who the Debtors understand were both effectively in the custody of Bahamas authorities) and that such assets were ‘custodied on FireBlocks under control of Bahamian gov’t,’” the filing said. FTX, which is based in the Bahamas due to the relaxed tax laws, collapsed on November 11 in a scandal that has cost investors more than $11 billion. The debacle followed reports of mishandled customer funds and abandoned acquisition plans by rival exchange Binance. The scandal has triggered a crisis of confidence in the cryptocurrency market and caused the value of assets including Bitcoin to sink.

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“The clobber list also includes this curious item: “The strike has resulted in the neutralisation of the production capacities for nuclear weaponry.”

Ukraine – Switching The Lights Off (MoA)

The careful destruction of energy systems in Ukraine continues. From today’s clobber list as provided by the Defense Ministry of Russia: ” On 17 November, the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation launched a concentrated strike, using high-precision long-range air-, sea- and ground-based weapons, at the facilities of military control, defence industry, as well as related fuel and energy infrastructure of Ukraine. The goals of the strike have been reached. All the missiles have accurately stricken the assigned facilities.” I have no idea if the last line is true but it does not matter much. The targeting of 330 kilovolt transformers in various switching stations has cut some 50% of the distribution capability of Ukraine’s electricity network. These transformers weigh up to 200 tons.

There are no replacements. You do not buy them at the next corner but will have order them with years of lead time. As far as I can tell Russia is currently Russia the only producer of transformers of that type. Isn’t it a war crime to destroy the infrastructure that supplies civilians? It depends. If the infrastructure is used exclusively for civilian purpose the destruction is illegal. But the electricity and transport infrastructure in Ukraine is used for civilian AND military purposes. In a recent Politico piece Ukrainian officials are even confirming that: Ukraine tells allies it may not be able to recover from more Russian attacks on energy systems: ” An unreliable energy sector could have deadly consequences, Ukrainian officials say. In recent conversations, they’ve added that it could halt food production and transport operations — critical services needed to support military operations.”

The clobber list also includes this curious item: “The strike has resulted in the neutralisation of the production capacities for nuclear weaponry.” I wonder where and what that has been: “One depot of artillery armament, delivered by western countries and prepared for being sent to troops, has been destroyed. The redeployment of the reserve forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine (AFU), and the delivery of foreign armament to operations areas have been frustrated.” The last sentence describes the real purpose of the attacks on the energy systems.

The lack of energy is degrading the railway network that brings weapons from the west to the eastern front. It makes redeployment of units from one front section to another very difficult and time consuming. It will give the Russian forces the advantage when they change the Schwerpunkt of their attacks from one corner of the frontline to another. Another effect of the strikes on the electricity systems and the blackouts in the big cities that follow them is a renewed stream of refugees that will want reach western Europe. It will over time change the public opinion and the political priorities of those countries. If they fail to end the war they will have to carry the burden.

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“The New York Times notes the continued emergency that the country’s vital nuclear power plants are facing, given they themselves must rely on the national grid for aspects of their normal operations.”

Ukraine Has Lost 40% Of Energy System As Kyiv Sees First Snow (ZH)

Ukraine’s largest city and capital of Kyiv, with about 3 million residents, saw half its home and businesses plunged into darkness following Tuesday’s largescale Russian airstrikes which once again targeted energy infrastructure nationwide. Much of the electricity was restored in the capital city Wednesday, while much of it remained off in many other parts of the country. In a rare occurrence, most of the western city of Lviv had also been plunged into darkness this week, after what authorities called the biggest wave of Russian strikes on power facilities since the invasion began. “Photos of Kyiv draped in darkness have become a shareable illustration of winter in Ukraine this year: dark, cold, dangerous,” observed The Hill.

“Ukraine’s energy infrastructure is under attack from Russia, which has failed to defeat Ukrainian forces on the battlefield and is now once again targeting civilians.” An estimated 100 missiles had rained down on Ukrainian cities over the span of just a couple hours on Tuesday, chiefly targeting the energy grid. President Zelensky had already earlier in November warned that 40% of the country’s energy system has been destroyed. One Kyiv resident, Vladimir Yanachuk, was cited in NPR as saying, “We are not afraid about this. Ukrainians are not afraid about this,” while acknowledging: “Winter will be hard. But this winter will be hard not only for Ukrainians, but for Russian soldiers too.”

Temperatures in the capital and other parts of Ukraine have dipped below freezing this week, with the first snow fall of the season dusting Kyiv. The AFP reports, “The first snow of the winter falls on Maidan Square in Kyiv, blanketing its statues and anti-tank obstacles as the Ukrainian capital faces blackouts and power outages from a fresh series of Russian strikes targeting the country’s energy infrastructure.” Meanwhile The New York Times notes the continued emergency that the country’s vital nuclear power plants are facing, given they themselves must rely on the national grid for aspects of their normal operations.

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“What we want is an end to this war. Someone is trying not to end the war. The US sees the prolongation of the war as its interest.”

Ukraine Is ‘War Between West And Russia’ – Turkish Official (RT)

The West is using Ukraine to wage a war against Russia and has gone so far as to sabotage Turkish diplomacy that sought to negotiate an end to it, the deputy leader of Türkiye’s ruling AKP party, Numan Kurtulmus, told CNN Turk on Friday. “This war is not between Russia and Ukraine, it is a war between Russia and the West,” Kurtulmus told the outlet, adding that “the US and some countries in Europe” are prolonging the conflict by supporting Ukraine. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is talking to both Moscow and Kiev, said Kurtulmus, and in March managed to organize negotiations in Istanbul that looked promising. Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Vladimir Zelensky, “were going to sign” a deal, but “someone didn’t want” that to happen.

According to Ukrainian media, Kiev received a message in April that the West was not interested in peace with Russia, which encouraged Zelensky to break off the talks. The messenger was reportedly none other than the UK prime minister at the time, Boris Johnson. “There was progress on certain issues, and we were reaching the final point, and then suddenly we saw that the war accelerated,” Kurtulmus told CNN Turk on Friday. “What we want is an end to this war. Someone is trying not to end the war. The US sees the prolongation of the war as its interest.” In his opinion, the conflict has made much of Europe clamor for NATO to become more active against the perceived threat from Russia, which benefits Washington.

According to Kurtulmus, the “balance of the world system disappeared” with the demise of the Soviet Union, and a “fierce power struggle” is currently taking place. “It is essential to establish a global political system. It is necessary to establish new institutions that will ensure world peace,” he said. Kurtulmus is a former Turkish deputy prime minister, who has been Erdogan’s deputy at the head of AKP since 2018. His comments came as Russia agreed to extend the Turkish-negotiated deal for exporting grain through the Black Sea by 120 days, on the condition Kiev doesn’t use the sea corridor to carry out more attacks.

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No coincidence. If you don’t want an end, you’re not going to define an end goal.

Former Trump Advisor: Biden Admin Has No End Goal For Ukraine War (JTN)

Former Donald Trump advisor Victoria Coates said the Biden administration doesn’t have an end goal for its involvement in the war in Ukraine. “I think it’s a lot of confusion within the administration,” Victoria Coates said on Friday’s edition of the “Just the News, No Noise” TV show. “You’ll hear the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Milley saying he wants to negotiate. Then we hear from the National Security Council that we don’t want to negotiate. So there’s friction within the administration. Unfortunately, I think that means we don’t have strong direction from the top.” Coates speculated that conflicting agendas within the administration were undermining Washington’s response to the conflict. “They’re all arguing about what kind of weapon weapon systems they may or may not give the Ukrainians,” Coates said. “They’re arguing about whether or not they should negotiate. It’s very confusing.”


Coates said that this inevitably will lead to scrutiny from the next Congress. “This is why you have a lot of concern out of the new Congress for these huge supplemental requests that are coming in,” Coates explained. “What’s the purpose here? Because if we have a strategy to win, and I think the Ukrainians have shown the will to win, how do we get them across that finish line sooner rather than later so the American people aren’t still feeling the pain of this conflict?” “We’re up against $100 billion of support to Ukraine over the course of the last 10 months,” Coates said. “Now, maybe I would spend more money if it means we’re going to defeat Putin, but I don’t hear that from the President. So I’m wondering why, in these difficult times, we’re spending all this taxpayer money.”

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“..the market is going to set the price. So if you put sanctions on at higher prices, in a way you’re just making the situation worse.”

Russian Oil Price Cap Idea ‘Ridiculous’ – Former US Treasury Secretary (RT)

Former US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has criticized the Group of Seven (G7) plan of capping the price of Russian oil in an interview to CNBC. The measure, which is due to be implemented early next month, is “not only not feasible, I think it’s the most ridiculous idea I’ve ever heard,” Mnuchin said. The former official said that “the market is going to set the price. So if you put sanctions on at higher prices, in a way you’re just making the situation worse.” The G7 countries, comprising the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy, and Japan, earlier agreed to set a fixed price limit on Russian oil. The measure takes effect on December 5.

While the price level is not yet known, reports indicate it will be set at around $60 per barrel. The current market price on Brent crude, the global oil benchmark, is around $86 per barrel. Under the plan, Western companies will be banned from providing certain services for shipments of Russian oil that is purchased at a price above the cap. The list of services includes insurance and facilitating payments. The mechanism, which had been pitched by Washington, is intended to limit Russia’s revenues from energy exports, which, the West claims Moscow uses to fund its military operation in Ukraine.

Moscow, meanwhile, has increased oil exports in recent months to countries outside of the West, particularly China and India, by offering discounts to secure buyers. Analysts say that in order for the price cap to have the desired effect, the G7 would have to make sure these countries join the scheme. However, Russian officials have repeatedly stated that the country will not sell oil to buyers that agree to the price cap, which may make many reluctant to participate in the mechanism. India, for instance, recently said it sees no “moral conflict” in importing Russian oil and will buy it “from wherever” to ensure the country’s energy stability.

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This puzzles me: Garland said:“Based on recent developments, including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel.”

See? They’re both candidates, but only one gets a special counsel. Where in his words is the logic? It’s not as if there is no reason to probe Hunter. And FTX should be probed too, but yes, that too is linked to Biden.

DOJ Appoints Special Counsel For Trump Probes, But What About Hunter? (JTN)

Powell’s words follow Garland’s appointment of Jack Smith, a former career Justice Department prosecutor and former chief prosecutor at The Hague, to serve as special counsel to oversee two ongoing criminal investigations. The first is the investigation into whether any individual, Trump included, attempted to interfere unlawfully in the transfer of presidential power or the electoral certification process in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. The second is the investigation into the documents the FBI seized from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in August and any obstruction of justice charges that could stem from it. Garland’s announcement came three days after Trump launched his 2024 presidential campaign.

“The Department of Justice has long recognized that in certain extraordinary cases it is in the public interest to appoint a special prosecutor to independently manage an investigation and prosecution,” said Garland. “Based on recent developments, including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel.” Trump blasted the appointment as the “politicization of justice” and said he “won’t partake in it” in comments to Fox News Digital. Observers were quick to similarly criticize Garland’s decision, noting a potential double standard as the Justice Department hasn’t named a special counsel to oversee its ongoing investigation into Hunter Biden.

“By appointing a special counsel to investigate his boss’s political enemy, Attorney General Merrick Garland continues to politicize and weaponize the Biden Justice Department — all while Garland ignores smoking-gun evidence of Biden’s foreign corruption,” tweeted Mike Davis, former chief counsel for nominations for the Senate Judiciary Committee. Other legal experts thought Garland’s appointment itself was fine but took issue with not doing the same for Biden. s”Appointment of a special counsel is a significant step, but Garland is well within his rights to do so,” said Geoff Shepard, a lawyer and author who served in the Nixon administration. “The disturbing thing is that he has not already done so with regard to the Hunter Biden investigation. It reeks of a double standard and gives critics plenty of reason to object.”

“The more he spoke of his honor, the faster we counted the spoons…”

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@JulieZebrak: “Fun fact: Jack Smith and Jim Trusty both worked in the Criminal Division when I was there. Jack was the head of Public Integrity Section aka PIN. Jim was the head of the Organized Crime and Gang Section. Jim now represents Trump.”

MTG Says Kevin McCarthy, House GOP Will Defund Trump Special Counsel (JTN)

Georgia Republican Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green on Friday said that current House Minority Leader and likely next House Speaker Kevin McCarthy would deny funding to the Department of Justice special counsel investigating former President Donald Trump. In a Tweet detailing the plan, Greene insisted McCarthy would invoke the Holman rule, a procedural measure by which the House may adjust appropriations legislation to reduce the salary of or fire specific government employees. They may also use it to cut specific programs. “Holman Rule. Look it up! [McCarthy] is going to put it in place,” Greene wrote. “That means no money for Garland’s politically weaponized Special Counsel. Don’t promise too many jobs! Whoops defunded.”

It was not immediately clear whether Greene was predicting such action or announcing that McCarthy had made the decision. Just the News has sought comment from Greene’s office. McCarthy’s office could not immediately be reached. Attorney General Merrick Garland announced Friday that he was appointing Jack Smith as special counsel to oversee the DOJ investigations relating the former president. “The Department of Justice has long recognized that in certain extraordinary cases it is in the public interest to appoint a special prosecutor to independently manage an investigation and prosecution,” Garland said.

“Based on recent developments, including the former president’s announcement that he is a candidate for president in the next election and the sitting president’s stated intention to be a candidate as well, I have concluded that it is in the public interest to appoint a special counsel.” McCarthy has thus far not announced any plans akin to what Greene has indicated. The California Republican this week won his party’s nomination for speaker while the party. Republicans won control of the House during the 2022 midterm elections, meaning McCarthy will likely be the one driving the lower chamber’s operations in the next congressional session.

Trump

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Game over, guys, don’t even try.

G20 Pushes Vaccine Passports For All Future International Travel (ZH)

The G20 has issued a formal decree promoting vaccine passports as preparation for any future pandemic response in its final communique. Indonesian Health Minister Budi Gunadi Sadikin, speaking on the matter on behalf of the G20 host country, had earlier in the summit called for a “digital health certificate” using WHO standards. Sadikin advocated for that he dubbed a “digital health certificate” which shows whether a person has been “vaccinated or tested properly” so that only then “you can move around”. Watch his comments during a G20 Bali panel discussion earlier in the week… A somewhat more vaguely-worded version of these recommendations was included in the official G20 leaders’ declaration, which calls for digital COVID-19 certificates, or often simply called vaccine passports.

The section of the final communique, which is republished and available on the White House website, which deals with vaccines and the Covid-19 pandemic begins, “We recognize that the extensive COVID-19 immunization is a global public good and we will advance our effort to ensure timely, equitable and universal access to safe, affordable, quality and effective vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics (VTDs).” While describing the need for greater collaboration among nations during any future pandemic response, it continues in this section, “We remain committed to embedding a multisectoral One Health approach and enhancing global surveillance, including genomic surveillance, in order to detect pathogens and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) that may threaten human health.”

[..] Article 24 of the final G20 declaration begins, “The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the transformation of the digital ecosystem and digital economy.” And then leads into to the following statement later in the section: “We acknowledge the importance to counter disinformation campaigns, cyber threats, online abuse, and ensuring security in connectivity infrastructure.” So as predicted by many early on in the pandemic (who were all dismissed and condemned as “conspiracy theorists”), a future proposed standardized vaccine passport will be accompanied by efforts for greater standardization and policing against ‘disinformation’ – likely to include any speech critical of the type of regimen that G20 leaders wish to enact.

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“..many people misunderstood the meaning of “peak oil” and saw it as equivalent to “running out” of oil…”

Colin Campbell: A Tribute To The Father Of The Concept Of “Peak Oil” (Ugo Bardi)

Rethinking today about Colin’s legacy, we can see that he was not always right in his assessments. One of the limits of his approach was that it was focused only on oil and gas. His models were sometimes oversimplified, and, at times, he would be too quick in disparaging new technologies that could change the picture. Perhaps his main limit was to have overemphasized the importance of the peak date as a turning point for humankind and to have believed that it could be determined by models. I know that he understood that the peak was just one point in a smooth curve, and he said that several times in public statements. But many people misunderstood the meaning of “peak oil” and saw it as equivalent to “running out” of oil. For some, it was the equivalent of the religious concept of apocalypse, and that led to accusations against ASPO of being a millenarian cult of some kind.

It should go without saying that Colin’s ideas were as far from millenarism as they could possibly have been. His approach was good, data-based science, and he was fond of quoting Keynes saying, “when I have new data, I change my mind, what do you do, sir?” (actually, Samuelson said that). Colin’s capability of dispassionately analyzing data led him to avoid the mistakes that other members of ASPO made, such as putting all their hopes on nuclear energy or refusing to accept climate science as a valid scientific field. So, even though right now the concept of “peak oil” seems to be out of fashion, good ideas are like souls. They move from one generation to another, being reborn as new incarnations if they are good.

Campbell’s ideas have that power, right now they are nearly forgotten, but waiting to reappear in a suitable body, like the spirit of the Dalai Lama. We, humans, forget things so easily, especially important things. But one day we’ll understand Campbell’s main message that what we get from the Earth may seem to be free, but it must be repaid, sooner or later. And the debt recovery agency employed by Gaia is ruthless and cannot be bribed using money.

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Cooling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby chimp

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 182022
 
 November 18, 2022  Posted by at 9:20 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,  76 Responses »


Paul Gauguin Palm trees on Martinique 1887

 

Zelensky Declares Ukraine Corruption-Free (RT)
Ukraine Openly Lied To NATO Over Missile Strike, Diplomat Tells FT (RT)
Zelensky ‘Commanding The US To Lead WWIII’ – Tucker Carlson (RT)
Evidence Suggests Ukrainian Missile Struck Poland – Top Security Official (RT)
Zelensky Backtracks On Missile Claims (RT)
Zelensky Confirms Signals From West On Peace Talks (RT)
Zelensky Cracks Down On Popular News Outlet, Bans CNN, Sky (RT)
Dutch Court Blames Russia for Missile That Struck MH17 (ET)
Enron Liquidator Overseeing FTX Bankruptcy: Never Seen Anything Like This (ZH)
White House Slams GOP For Probing Hunter Biden ‘Conspiracy Theories’
Italian Power Prices More Than Triple – Data (RT)
Elon Musk Eyes Potential Tesla CEO Successor (Axios)
Clinton-Linked Dark Money Group Targets Twitter Advertisers (Turley)
Twitter On Lock Out After Mass Resignation Exodus; Operations At Risk (ZH)

 

 

 

 

Dave

 

 

 

 

Devine

 

 

Monty Python
https://twitter.com/i/status/1593092267619020801

 

 

Mr. Wonderful has most to fear.

 

 


The U.S. says Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s official standing as the sitting head of a foreign government should give him immunity in the lawsuit filed by the fiancée of slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi

 

 

Edward Dowd

 

 

“If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”
– Thomas Paine

 

 

 

 

Ha ha, said the clown.

Zelensky Declares Ukraine Corruption-Free (RT)

Corruption has been eradicated from Ukraine and all Russian influences have left or been chased out, Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told a global audience at the Bloomberg New Economy Forum on Thursday. “No one will be able to forgive corruption in the future Ukraine,” he said, explaining that all the corrupt officials had fled the country in the months following the launch of Russia’s military operation. The remaining officials would not be tempted to “interfere in business operations” because all government services had gone electronic, he added. Zelensky promised there would be “no influence of Russian capital in Ukraine” going forward, explaining that any business interests not “united” behind his government had either “left our enterprises, or we pushed them out” – including the many political parties and media outlets his government has banned, such as the Party of Regions of predecessor Viktor Yanukovych.

The Ukrainian leader revealed he had just met with the vice president of the World Bank in order to “start a ‘pilot’ with them regarding investment insurance in Ukraine” and sought to allay potential concerns about corruption in his country. Investments – particularly by the mining and processing industries – would be safe, he insisted, praising the “independence of the economy, finances, and transparency of investments.” Western media outlets like The Guardian ranked Ukraine at or near the top on lists of the most corrupt nations in the world prior to the start of Russia’s military initiative in the country in February. Last year, Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index ranked it the second-most corrupt in Europe.

Even Zelensky, in his inauguration speech, joked that 28 years of Ukrainian politicians had created a country of opportunities – “opportunities to steal, bribe and loot.” However, many of those voices have since gone quiet for fear of being seen as perpetuating a pro-Russian narrative. In June, the heads of the European Council and European Commission informed members of Zelensky’s government that they would have to “do their homework” to join the EU, tasking them with implementing judicial reforms, “de-oligarchizing” the economy, and fighting corruption successfully. The Council of Europe last month promised to help Kiev along by finding experts to advise it on constitutional reforms and electoral law to help the process along.

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“..such statements could only be seen as an attempt to trigger a direct clash between Russia and NATO..”

Ukraine Openly Lied To NATO Over Missile Strike, Diplomat Tells FT (RT)

Kiev has been accused of “openly lying” about the recent missile that hit Poland killing two civilians, the Financial Times reports citing an unnamed diplomat from a NATO country. Ukraine rushed to pin the blame on Moscow, while the Russian Ministry of Defense stated that footage from the site showed “elements of a missile from an S-300 air defense system used by the Air Force of Ukraine.” “This is getting ridiculous,” the official told the outlet on Wednesday. “The Ukrainians are destroying our confidence in them. Nobody is blaming Ukraine and they are openly lying. This is more destructive than the missile,” he said. The comments come in response to President Vladimir Zelensky claiming that Ukraine had nothing to do with the missile that struck Przewodow, Poland, on Tuesday, insisting that it was Russia that launched the weapon.

Zelensky has insisted that Ukrainian investigators be given access to the crash site, stating that if it turns out that it was indeed a Ukrainian rocket then Kiev would have to apologize. “But, sorry, first I want an investigation, access, the data you have – we want to have this,” Zelensky said, addressing his Western partners. NATO, the US and Poland have stated that there is no evidence to suggest Russia’s direct involvement in the incident. Polish President Andrzej Duda has indicated that the projectile was likely a Ukrainian air defense missile – an opinion that was seconded by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and US Defense secretary Lloyd Austin.

Moscow, meanwhile, has condemned efforts to paint it as the perpetrator, saying such statements could only be seen as an attempt to trigger a direct clash between Russia and NATO. After several media outlets as well as Ukrainian and Polish officials initially blamed Russia for the attack, Moscow’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, stated that if it had not been for the evidence in the form of photos from the scene, “all facts would have been concealed from the public, and Russia would have been proclaimed the guilty side.” Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov has also stated that the initial claims made by Kiev and other Western officials were “yet another hysterical, rabidly Russophobic reaction that was not based on any real information.”

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“Zelensky’s refusal to admit that a Ukrainian missile caused a fatal explosion in Poland makes him “not worth supporting..”

“It’s a lie that could get millions of Americans killed. So you have to ask yourself, is it time to stop backing this guy? Could the risk be too high? He’s lying on purpose to get us into a war?”

Zelensky ‘Commanding The US To Lead WWIII’ – Tucker Carlson (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky could be “lying on purpose to get us into a war,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson declared on Wednesday night. Zelensky’s refusal to admit that a Ukrainian missile caused a fatal explosion in Poland makes him “not worth supporting,” Carlson suggested. Zelensky “was commanding the US to lead the Third World War immediately” after the blast, Carlson told his viewers. “The only problem is that it was completely and utterly wrong.” The Ukrainian leader described the explosion, which killed two people, as a Russian attack on NATO territory and called on the West to put Russia “in its place” in response. Anonymous US intelligence officials seconded his claims in statements to the press.

Moscow argued that debris at the blast site showed that it was caused by a missile from the S-300 air defense system, a piece of Soviet-era kit fielded by Ukraine. Within hours, the leadership of the US, NATO, and Poland had all publicly stated that the explosion was caused by a Ukrainian anti-air missile. Zelensky doubled down. “I have no doubt that this is not our missile,” he said in a video address. “I believe that it was a Russian missile, based on our military reports.” “That’s not only untrue,” Carlson said. “It’s a lie that could get millions of Americans killed. So you have to ask yourself, is it time to stop backing this guy? Could the risk be too high? He’s lying on purpose to get us into a war?”

“Maybe he’s not worth supporting in the first place. Maybe he’s just another corrupt Eastern European strongman in a tracksuit, getting as rich as he can on American handouts.” Carlson has been a long-time critic of the US’ support for Zelensky, arguing that Ukraine is not democratic, and that intervening in its conflict with Russia is not in the US’ national security interest. Zelensky has since walked back his claims, saying on Thursday that Kiev doesn’t “know for 100%” what happened.

Tucker Zel

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“It is “normal” for its president to stick to “hypotheses that seem obvious from the national defense point of view” under such circumstances..”

Evidence Suggests Ukrainian Missile Struck Poland – Top Security Official (RT)

Evidence gathered by Poland, the US, and NATO suggests that it was a Ukrainian missile that killed two people on Polish territory not far from Ukraine’s border this week, the head of the country’s National Security Bureau (BBN), Jacek Siewiera, told the local RMF FM radio broadcaster on Thursday. Earlier, Polish President Andrzej Duda said that the missile was likely a Ukrainian one. Washington, meanwhile, admitted it had no evidence that would contradict Duda’s assessment, while Kiev rushed to blame the incident on Moscow. “All the evidence that has been collected on the NATO, American and our sides indicates that we are dealing with an S-300 missile launched by the Ukrainian anti-aircraft defense,” Siewiera said on Thursday, without offering details on the information gathered by investigators.

According to the BBN chief, the Polish Prosecutor’s Office is now leading the probe into the incident. Warsaw would not object to Ukrainian “observers” joining the investigation, Siewiera said, adding that the Polish president in particular “sees no obstacles” for this if all legal requirements are met. He also justified Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky’s stance on the issue by reasoning that Ukraine is now going through the “hardest period” of its conflict with Russia when it comes to air strikes. It is “normal” for its president to stick to “hypotheses that seem obvious from the national defense point of view” under such circumstances, the BBN head argued.

Zelensky insisted the missile was Russian and backtracked on this claim only after it was disputed by US President Joe Biden. Later, Zelensky maintained that no one can know for sure whose missile killed the two Poles. On Tuesday, Russia said it did not strike any targets closer than 35 kilometers (21.7 miles) from the border with Poland.

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“The US government always has somebody to ‘hold responsible’ on political grounds.”

Zelensky Backtracks On Missile Claims (RT)

President Vladimir Zelensky has toned down his claims that a Russian missile was responsible for the deaths of two people in a Polish village near the border with Ukraine. “I don’t know what happened this time. We do not know for a 100%,” Zelensky conceded on Thursday. He was responding to a question about the incident during a panel discussion at the Bloomberg New Economy forum in Singapore, which he attended via videolink. “But I am sure that there was a Russian missile and I am sure we were launching air defense missiles,” he added. The incident happened on Thursday evening, as Russia was hitting targets in Ukraine with a barrage of missiles. Zelensky declared that the projectile was Russian and that its landing on Polish territory was an attack on NATO’s collective security, urging retaliation.

Warsaw has since announced that the weapon was most likely a Ukrainian air defense missile that went astray, but Zelensky’s initial reaction was to point the finger at Moscow. The Russian military said it didn’t attack any site near the location of the village and that images of the crash site, which were published by Polish media, clearly identified the projectile as a Ukrainian air defense missile. Zelensky claimed during the Bloomberg panel that the Ukrainian military had told him that the images were not consistent with that kind of weapon. He claimed that nobody could say with full certainty what the origin of the missile was until a full investigation had been carried out.

He also thanked Ukraine’s foreign backers, who put the blame for the deaths in Poland on Russia, regardless of who fired the weapon. NATO and some of its members, including the US, stated that Moscow was responsible because it had launched missiles at Ukraine in the first place. Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, said that Washington’s attitude may give a hint to US citizens about the veracity of American investigations in general. “The US government doesn’t care about getting the results in an investigation,” she said. “The US government always has somebody to ‘hold responsible’ on political grounds.”

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“The statement follows talks between the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin, and CIA Director William Burns, which took place in Türkiye earlier this week.”

Zelensky Confirms Signals From West On Peace Talks (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky has acknowledged that Kiev’s foreign backers have been speaking to him about the possibility of peace talks with Moscow. “I had received signals from state leaders, who said: ‘We think [Russian President Vladimir] Putin wants direct negotiations.’ And I said: ‘We will offer a public format [for the talks] because Russia is waging a public war against Ukraine,’” Zelensky told journalists on Wednesday. “I’m ready to recommend such a format. I’ll discuss with my colleagues how to do it,” he said, adding that he does not want to have any “backstage contact”with Russia. Recent reports indicate that Washington has been privately pushing Kiev to drop its uncompromising rejection of the peace process with Moscow.

Last week, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, suggested that a Ukrainian military victory might be unachievable and that winter could provide an opportunity to begin talks with Russia. Zelensky also said he does not believe that the US, which has been among Kiev’s main backers amid the conflict with Moscow, was discussing ways to end the fighting behind Ukraine’s back. “We have an agreement that they – the US – don’t discuss Ukraine without us… Is it really the case? We trust our partners,” he said. The statement follows talks between the head of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), Sergey Naryshkin, and CIA Director William Burns, which took place in Türkiye earlier this week. Both the Kremlin and the White House confirmed the meeting, with the US side saying that it was aimed at keeping channels of communication open, and that a Ukrainian settlement was not on the agenda.

Zelensky has been sending mixed messages about the possibility of peace talks with Moscow throughout the conflict, even signing a decree in October that officially made it impossible for him to negotiate with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. In a video address to the G20 on Tuesday, the Ukrainian leader said he was “convinced now is the time when the Russian destructive war must and can be stopped.” Conflict between Moscow and Kiev should conclude “fairly” and on the basis of the UN Charter, Zelensky insisted, stressing that Ukraine “shouldn’t be offered compromises with its sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence” in exchange for peace. He also claimed that Moscow should not be trusted, warning that Russia could use the cessation of hostilities “to grow its forces and launch a new series of terror and global destabilization.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reacted to the speech by saying that Russia is ready for talks, unlike Ukraine, which puts forward “invariably unrealistic and inadequate” terms for dialogue. According to Lavrov, Zelensky’s address was full of “militant, Russophobic and aggressive rhetoric.” Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov also said that the speech by the Ukrainian leader “absolutely confirms”the unwillingness of Kiev to look for a settlement of the conflict through negotiations.

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Banning all political parties and media that don’t toe the line. Let’s give him another $100 billion. Give him another 50 for banning CNN.

Zelensky Cracks Down On Popular News Outlet, Bans CNN, Sky (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky says he has granted a petition demanding that the government take action against popular opposition news website Starana.ua. The petition, which calls on the authorities to ensure the outlet is completely blocked, was submitted to the president’s website in late September, and has so far garnered more than 25,500 signatures. On Thursday, Zelensky announced that he had considered the petition and ordered the head of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, Aleksey Danilov, to “address the issues raised in it, take necessary measures in response and inform the author of the results.”

Commenting on the petition, Zelensky accused Russia of using various forms of hybrid warfare against Ukraine, and said “the issues of protecting the domestic information space require constant attention and urgent response.” The author of the petition called Starana.ua “a pro-Russian” media outlet, which continues to “manipulate the opinions of Ukrainian viewers” despite being banned in the country. The website, which was among the most viewed online publications in Ukraine last year, was officially blocked by Zelensky’s government in August 2021, with more restrictions added this February, just over a week before the launch of Moscow’s military operation in the country. At that time, the journalists claimed that they had been persecuted due to their “alternative view” on the conflict in Donbass and Zelensky’s personal animosity towards them.

However, Starana.ua continued to remain accessible in Ukraine through several mirror sites. The outlet also began to actively develop its YouTube channel, which now has more than 600,000 subscribers. Foreign journalists have also faced obstacles working in Ukraine. On Monday, Kiev removed accreditation from a group of media workers, including those from CNN and Sky News, accusing them of reporting from the recently-retaken city of Kherson without the necessary authorization from the Ukrainian military.

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Said it before: The Dutch are the last party that should have investigated. The main victim does not get to conduct this.

Dutch Court Blames Russia for Missile That Struck MH17 (ET)

A court in the Netherlands determined what country manufactured the missile that struck down a Malaysia Airlines flight in 2014 over eastern Ukraine, killing 298 people. “The court is of the opinion that MH17 (Flight 17) was brought down by the firing of a BUK missile from a farm field near Pervomaisk, killing all 283 passengers and 15 crew members,” presiding judge Hendrik Steenhuis said, according to Reuters news agency. That flight is different than Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared in 2014 while flying from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Beijing. The location of Flight 370, which disappeared about four months before Flight 17 was shot down, has still never been determined.


The statement was issued in the trial of several Russians and a separatist Ukrainian who were found guilty in absentia of the mass murder for their alleged involvement in shooting down Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine. Russians Igor Girkin, Sergey Dubinskiy, and Oleg Pulatov and Ukrainian separatist Leonid Kharchenko were on trial at the Schiphol Judicial Complex in Badhoevedorp, Netherlands, according to reports. Pulatov was acquitted while the three others were found guilty. None of the defendants appeared for the trial that began in March 2020, and if they’re convicted, it’s unlikely they’ll serve any sentence anytime soon. Prosecutors had sought life sentences for all four. Prosecutors and the suspects have two weeks to file an appeal.

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Did they even have an accountant?

Enron Liquidator Overseeing FTX Bankruptcy: Never Seen Anything Like This (ZH)

[..] FTX’s new CEO and liquidator, John Ray III, who also oversaw the unwinding and liquidation of Enron, admits that “Never in my career have I seen such a complete failure of corporate controls and such a complete absence of trustworthy financial information as occurred here.” And just in case his shock at FTX’s fraud of epic proportions was not quite clear enough, he adds that “from compromised systems integrity and faulty regulatory oversight abroad, to the concentration of control in the hands of a very small group of inexperienced, unsophisticated and potentially compromised individuals, this situation is unprecedented.”

According to Ray, he has located “only a fraction” of the digital assets of the FTX Group that they hope recover during the Chapter 11 bankruptcy. They’ve so far secured about $740 million of cryptocurrency in offline cold wallets, a storage method designed to prevent hacks. This is just a fraction of the $10-$50 billion in liabilities the company disclosed in its bankruptcy filing. How do we know it’s a fraud: as Ray writes on page 24, although the investigation has only begun and must run its course, it is my view based on the information obtained to date, “that many of the employees of the FTX Group, including some of its senior executives, were not aware of the shortfalls or potential commingling of digital assets.” Many maybe not, but some – and certainly SBF himself – did.

It gets better: Ray said that company’s audited financial statements should not be trusted, Ray said, adding that liquidators are working to rebuild balance sheets for FTX entities from the bottom up. FTX “did not maintain centralized control of its cash” and failed to keep an accurate list of bank accounts and account signatories, or pay sufficient attention to the creditworthiness of banking partners, according to Ray. Advisers don’t yet know how much cash FTX Group had when it filed for bankruptcy, but has found about $560 million attributable to various FTX entities so far.

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Not probing Huter has been politically motivated from the get go.

White House Slams GOP For Probing Hunter Biden ‘Conspiracy Theories’ (RT)

The White House has dismissed Republican efforts to investigate President Joe Biden and his son’s overseas business ties, rejecting allegations that the commander in chief is under the sway of “foreign dollars” as a baseless conspiracy theory.In a statement to the New York Post on Thursday, a spokesman for the White House counsel’s office, Ian Sams, said House Republicans are “wasting time and resources on political revenge” after several lawmakers pledged to open a probe into the Biden family, namely the president’s son Hunter. “Instead of working with President Biden to address issues important to the American people, like lower costs, congressional Republicans’ top priority is to go after President Biden with politically motivated attacks chock full of long-debunked conspiracy theories,” the spokesman said.

Earlier on Thursday, GOP Reps. James Comer and Jim Jordan announced that an investigation into the president would be a priority during the next round of Congress, saying their probe would center whether Biden has been “directly involved with Hunter Biden’s business deals” and if he is in any way “compromised.” The pair of lawmakers alleged the Bidens “were involved in a scheme to try to get China to buy liquefied natural gas,” and said they would attempt to determine if the president was ever “swayed by foreign dollars or influence.” With Republicans taking back a majority in the House after last week’s midterm elections, Comer and Jordan are set to head up the House Judiciary and Oversight committees, respectively, putting them in better positions to spearhead congressional inquiries.

Hunter Biden’s foreign business ties have been questioned by Republicans since an October 2020 New York Post report which published the contents of one of his laptops. Emails and other communications found on the computer indicate the younger Biden used his father’s political influence for personal gain, and raised other questions about whether Joe Biden was involved in any of his son’s dealings. Until the midterms, however, Democrats held majorities in both houses of Congress in addition to the White House, leaving GOP critics unable to press forward with long-sought investigations.

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This will topple governments.

Italian Power Prices More Than Triple – Data (RT)

Electricity prices in Italy set an all-time record in October, the country’s oldest consumer association Unc reported on Thursday. Prices for electricity, which is being sold in the Apennines on the free market, have surged 329% since October last year, and topped the Unc rating of the most expensive goods and services. International flights followed power tariffs, with an annual increase in costs equaling 113%. Gas was next in the ranking, with prices surging more than 96% compared to last year. The Unc report comes on the heels of the latest data released by Italy’s official statistics agency ISTAT, which showed that the domestic price index soared 11.8% in October from a year earlier, the highest since March 1984. Annual consumer price growth led by soaring energy costs hit 12.6% in October, jumping from 9.4% in the previous month.


Basic food items have also seen dramatic inflation in Italy, with the prices of various vegetable oils, excluding olive oil, soaring by 55% year-on-year. Butter grew by 43%, followed by sugar, which picked up 17% from September and rose by 38.8% on an annual basis. The sharp increase is expected to make the average annual food bill rise by €761 ($787), at a time when cash-strapped families are already trying to cope with soaring energy bills. For families with one child, this figure will increase to €937 ($969), for those with two children – up to €1038 ($1073), with three – up to €1240 ($1282), Unc president Massimiliano Donna has said.

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Looking for Twitter CEO. Jack is not available.

Elon Musk Identifies Potential Tesla CEO Successor (Axios)

Elon Musk has recently identified someone as his potential successor to lead Tesla as CEO, according to James Murdoch, one of the company’s directors. Tesla investors have grown increasingly worried about Musk’s divided focus since he initiated steps to buy Twitter earlier this year. As the Twitter saga progressed, Tesla faced its own set of issues — including supply chain challenges in China and the erosion of profits from inflation. Murdoch made the comment while testifying in Musk’s pay package trial on Wednesday. In response to a question from a plaintiff’s lawyer suggesting Musk has never picked anyone as a potential successor, Murdoch responded that Musk “actually has” and has in the “last few months,” but didn’t get into specifics, Reuters reports.


Musk, who also testified Wednesday to defend himself against the lawsuit challenging his large compensation package, has often talked about how much he “hates doing management stuff” and how he doesn’t want to “be the boss of anything.” “I tried not to be CEO of Tesla, but I had to or it would die. I rather hate being a boss. I’m an engineer,” he said last year while testifying about Tesla’s SolarCity acquisition. On the stand this morning, Musk said the CEO title is not an apt description of what he does at his companies. In addition to Tesla, Musk currently leads in one way or another, four other businesses — The Boring Company, SpaceX, Twitter and Neuralink. Musk has served as Tesla’s CEO since October 2008. The pay package he accepted in 2018 stipulates that he stay on as CEO, or chief product officer and executive chairman with a CEO reporting to him, for at least a decade.

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“The letter insists that free speech will only invite “disinformation, hate, and harassment“

Clinton-Linked Dark Money Group Targets Twitter Advertisers (Turley)

In the shift of the left against free speech principles, there is no figure more actively or openly pushing for censorship than Hillary Clinton. Now, reports indicate that Clinton has unleashed her allies in the corporate world to coerce Musk to restore censorship policies or face bankruptcy. The effort of the Clinton-linked “Accountable Tech” reveals the level of panic in Democratic circles that free speech could be restored on one social media platform. The group was open about how losing control over Twitter could result in a loss of control over social media generally. For Clinton, it is an “all-hands on deck” call for censorship. She previously called upon foreign governments to crackdown on the free speech of Americans on Twitter.

We have been discussing how Clinton and others have called on foreign companies to pass censorship laws to prevent Elon Musk from restoring free speech protections on Twitter. It seems that, after years of using censorship-by-surrogates in social media companies, Democratic leaders seem to have rediscovered good old-fashioned state censorship. Accountable Tech led an effort to send a letter to top Twitter advertisers to force Musk to accept “non-negotiable” requirements for censorship. General Motors was one of the first to pull its advertising funds to stop free speech restoration on the site. Of course, the company had no problem with supporting Twitter when it was running one of the largest censorship systems in history — or supporting TikTok (which is Chinese owned and has been denounced for state control and access to data).

Twitter has been denounced for years for its bias against conservative and dissenting voices, including presumably many GM customers on the right. None of that was a concern for GM but the pledge to restore free speech to Twitter warrants a suspension. The letter is open about the potential cascading effect if free speech is restored on one platform: “While the company is hardly a poster-child for healthy social media, it has taken welcome steps in recent years to mitigate systemic risks, ratcheting up pressure on the likes of Facebook and YouTube to follow suit.” The letter insists that free speech will only invite “disinformation, hate, and harassment” and that “[u]nder the guise of ‘free speech,’ [Musk’s] vision will silence and endanger marginalized communities, and tear at the fraying fabric of democracy.”

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Lockdown till Monday. Might make sense.

Twitter On Lock Out After Mass Resignation Exodus; Operations At Risk (ZH)

Hundreds of Twitter’s remaining employees have reportedly resigned ahead of Elon Musk’s “extremely hardcore” cultural reset of the company. After Musk gave an ultimatum to his employees to either commit to the company’s new “hardcore” work environment or leave, many more workers declined to sign on than he expected, potentially putting Twitter’s operations at risk, according to Bloomberg sources, as well as internal Slack messages seen by The Verge and employee tweets. On Thursday afternoon, so many employees decided to take severance that it created a cloud of confusion over which people should still have access to company property.

According to a memo seen by Bloomberg and reports from Platformer’s Zoe Schiffer, Twitter closed its offices until Monday; urging employees to “please continue to comply with company policy by refraining from discussing confidential information on social media, with the press or elsewhere.” According to Bloomberg, in the final hours before his deadline, Musk tried to convince people to stay. Key staff were brought into meetings as the Thursday evening deadline neared to hear pitches on the social network’s future, according to people familiar with the matter. Musk, who had earlier said he was strictly against remote work, also sent a follow-up email Thursday softening his tone. “All that is required for approval is that your manager takes responsibility for ensuring that you are making an excellent contribution,” he wrote, adding that staffers should have in-person meetings with their colleagues not less than once per month.

Despite the ultimatum, no Twitter employees have been deactivated — even those who’ve publicly resigned, the Platformer also reported, adding that “Musk and his team only collected the list of “yes’s” — employees who said they want to be part of Twitter 2.0. They’re still trying to track who is out.” Elon’s attempt to ease the terms of the ultimatum wasn’t enough, and Twitter’s internal communications channels filled with employees offering a salute emoji, which has become a symbol for departing the company. Former staff tweeted the salute publicly, too, along with their internal Slack messages. Some employees who were departing speculated that so many were leaving, along with their knowledge of how the product works, that the social network may have trouble fixing problems or updating systems during its normal operations, according to people familiar with the matter.

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Dog bear

 

 

Tiger babies

 

 

 

 

Illusion

 

 

 

 

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Nov 172022
 
 November 17, 2022  Posted by at 9:51 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , , ,  71 Responses »


Cimabue Christ mocked c1280 (Photograph: Charles Platiau/Reuters)

 

Ukraine Admits Firing Missile Near Poland Blast Site – CNN (RT)
Zelensky Doubles Down On Poland Missile (RT)
Gen. Milley Claims He Couldn’t Reach Moscow After Poland Missile Incident (RT)
Poland Should Guard Part Of Ukrainian Airspace – General (RT)
Missile Incident Was Ukrainian ‘Provocation’ – Polish Politician (RT)
Poland Wants Russian Oil Despite EU Embargo – Kommersant (RT)
Drone Strikes Deep In Russian Territory – Governor (RT)
The G20’s Balinese Geopolitical Dance (Escobar)
Eurozone Facing Deep Recession – Economists (RT)
Xi Roasts Justin Trudeau At G20 (RT)
Did SBF Buy Puff-Piece Propaganda? (ZH)
American Attempts To Preserve Hegemony Vs The New World Order (Kortunov)
US Congress Will Continue To Oppose Jet Sale To Turkey – Rep. Malliotakis (K.)
Sperm Counts Plummeting Dramatically – Faster Than Previously Thought (EHN)
Fauci’s Pandemic Leadership Needs to Be Investigated – Dr. Scott Atlas (ET)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kuleba before denials

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lots of RT today. Seems to be the only place for relevant information on Zelensky’s -and Poland’s- attempts to start WWIII.

“It doesn’t matter to Germany whose rocket fell in Poland, in any case, Russia is to blame, because it attacked Ukraine” – Olaf Scholz

Ukraine Admits Firing Missile Near Poland Blast Site – CNN (RT)

Ukrainian military officials told their American and other Western counterparts that they attempted to intercept a Russian missile near the site of a fatal blast in Poland on Tuesday, CNN reported. While Kiev initially blamed the explosion on Russia, Western leaders have since stated that it was likely caused by an errant Ukrainian air defense projectile. Citing a US official, CNN anchor Jim Sciutto said on Wednesday that the Ukrainian military has informed its Western backers that it “attempted to intercept a Russian missile in the same timeframe and near [the] location” of a “missile strike” at the Polish village of Przewowdow a day earlier. “It’s not clear this is [the] same missile that struck Poland, but this has informed ongoing US assessment,” Sciutto added.

The apparent admission by Ukraine’s military marks a dramatic climbdown by Kiev since Tuesday, when Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky called the incident a “Russian attack on the collective security” of NATO. In a video statement, Zelensky urged the West to put Russia “in its place” in response. However, in the time since the blast, Ukraine’s Western backers have all but confirmed that the missile was fired from Ukraine. US President Joe Biden, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg and Polish President Andrzej Duda have all stated that the blast was likely caused by a Ukrainian air defense missile, with Duda opting not to call for urgent consultations under Article 4 of the NATO Treaty.

The Russian Defense Ministry reported that analysis of debris at the site of the explosion showed that it was caused by a missile from the S-300 air defense system, a Soviet-era system fielded by Ukraine. Poland is currently leading an investigation into the explosion, which killed two people. The blast occurred during an intense Russian bombardment of Ukrainian command centers and energy infrastructure. Russia has pummeled Ukraine with near-daily missile and drone strikes since October, following what Russian President Vladimir Putin called Ukrainian “terrorist attacks” on Russian territory. Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushenko called Tuesday’s barrage the “most massive shelling of [Ukraine’s] energy system” since the beginning of the conflict in February.

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“Ukraine’s president Zelensky is pushing back against Western suggestions, including those of the US and Nato, that a stray Ukrainian missile was responsible for the deadly blast in Poland. ‘I have no doubt that it was not our rocket,’ he told reporters.”

Zelensky Doubles Down On Poland Missile (RT)

Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky continued to insist his military did not fire the missile that killed two civilians in the Polish village of Przewodow. Ukraine wanted to be included in any investigation of the incident, he told reporters in Kiev on Wednesday. “I have no doubt that it was not our missile or our missile strike,” Zelensky said, according to Ukrainian media. Noting that this is what the Ukrainian air force commander told him on Tuesday evening, he added, “It makes no sense for me not to trust them.” The Ukrainian president also said the Przewodow incident was yet another argument for NATO to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, something he has been asking for since February.

Zelensky was quick to blame “terrorist” Russia for what he described as an attack on NATO and the concept of collective security itself. His foreign minister Dmitry Kuleba did likewise. Neither have retracted their claims, even after Poland announced the missile that struck Przewodow was from a S-300 air defense system. “There is a high probability that it was a Ukrainian air defense missile,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Wednesday morning. Meanwhile, CNN quoted unnamed Ukrainian military officials as saying the missile was indeed theirs. Zelensky, however, told reporters he disagreed with phrases like “high probability” and that Ukraine “has the right” to see the evidence and data from partner countries. So far, he said, Kiev has received nothing.

“We must participate in the investigation,” Zelensky said, according to the UNIAN news agency. “I want it to be fair and if it was the use of our air defense, then I want this evidence.” While the incident in Przewodow happened amid a Russian cruise missile attack on key energy and military infrastructure targets in Ukraine, the Russian Defense Ministry swiftly noted that the debris filmed in Poland had nothing to do with any Russian weapon. Nor had anything nearby been targeted by the Russian military, Moscow added. Even the US government acknowledged the projectile that hit the Polish village was not Russian. On Wednesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg also said the missile had been Ukrainian and there were no indications of a Russian attack. He argued that the ultimate responsibility for the incident still lay with Moscow, however.

Candace

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Bad if he’s lying, bad if he’s not.

Gen. Milley Claims He Couldn’t Reach Moscow After Poland Missile Incident (RT)

US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley tried and failed to reach his Russian counterpart, General Valery Gerasimov, in the wake of a deadly missile incident in Poland, he revealed to journalists. “My staff was unsuccessful in getting me linked up with General Gerasimov,” he said during a joint press conference with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin on Wednesday. The failed contact happened after a missile hit a Polish village on the border with Ukraine and killed two locals on Tuesday. It came amid a Russian barrage targeting Ukrainian military and energy infrastructure. President Vladimir Zelensky claimed that the weapon was Russian and urged NATO to invoke its collective defense provisions in response. Western nations have since assessed that the projectile was most likely a Ukrainian anti-aircraft missile that went astray. But the Ukrainian leader doubled down on his claim that it was not fired by Kiev’s forces.


During the media briefing, both US defense officials declined to comment on the difference of opinion. “We have full confidence in Poland’s ability to conduct this investigation in the proper way, and until that’s complete, again, I think it’s – it’d be premature for anybody to jump to conclusions,” Austin said. Zelensky named Ukraine’s chief of defense, General Valery Zaluzhny, as the source of his information about the projectile’s origin. Milley said he also talked to the general, but declined to say what he was told about the incident. The Russian military has denied responsibility and said images of the missile debris clearly identified it as Ukrainian. The Foreign Ministry accused Kiev of trying to gain more Western support under a false pretext and said that an impartial investigation would expose the Ukrainian “provocation”.

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In the middle of it all, Ukraine adds another call for a no fly zone. As if we forgot what that means. Trying to get NATO openly into the war.

Poland Should Guard Part Of Ukrainian Airspace – General (RT)

Polish General Roman Polko said that the country’s air defenses should assume responsibility for part of Ukraine’s territory, in the wake of a deadly missile strike on a village near the Ukraine border. Speaking to Radio ZET on Wednesday, Polko, who used to serve as the Deputy Chief of the Polish National Security Bureau, suggested that Poland should protect a “strip of airspace extending into Ukrainian territory and build air defense systems.” “We cannot allow Polish citizens to die,” he stressed, expressing hope that the incident would accelerate deliveries of defense weapons. The general went on to say that Polish authorities should ramp up defense capabilities as well as increase airspace monitoring.

“We should inform Russia that Ukraine and… the border belt will be constantly monitored by the NATO alliance and Russian combat assets will be shot down,” Polko added. He also noted that the “unprecedented attack” should prompt NATO to “finally lift restrictions” and give Ukraine long-range weapons. According to media reports, the US, Kiev’s most prominent backer, has been reluctant to send these types of arms to Ukraine, fearing it would escalate the conflict. While Germany said that, along with its NATO partners, Berlin has no plans to try and close off Ukrainian airspace, noting that such a move could trigger a direct clash between Russia and NATO forces. “Together with all our allies we agreed that we want to avoid a further escalation of this war in Ukraine,” a government spokesperson explained.

Berlin had proposed to help Poland patrol its airspace, according to Germany’s defense ministry spokesman. It comes in the aftermath of a missile strike on the village of Przewodow, close to the Ukrainian border, which killed two civilians. While Poland initially claimed that the projectile was “manufactured in Russia,” later, President Andrzej Duda noted that it was probably launched by Ukrainian air defenses. The Russian Defense Ministry denied involvement, stating that its experts had analyzed the photos from the scene and identified parts of the projectile “as elements of a missile from the S-300 air defense system used by the Air Force of Ukraine.”

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“Instead of telling “fairy tales” about the missile, the Polish president should tell Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky that Warsaw “will no longer put up with this behavior” by Kiev.”

Missile Incident Was Ukrainian ‘Provocation’ – Polish Politician (RT)

Poland should rethink its position towards the conflict in Ukraine after a “provocation” on the part of Kiev that cost two villagers their lives, a former city councilman in Lublin said on Wednesday. Jaroslaw Pakula, whose term ended four days before the incident, said the missile that struck Przewodow was obviously Ukrainian and that the government in Warsaw needed to send a message to Kiev instead of telling “fairy tales” to its citizens. “Of course, this is a Ukrainian rocket. Of course, this is a provocation on the part of the Ukrainian authorities,” Pakula posted on his Facebook page. “The rocket could not be fired 100km in the opposite direction by mistake.” The purpose of the provocation was to scare the EU and get civil society support for sending even more weapons to Ukraine, Pakula added.

Instead of telling “fairy tales” about the missile, the Polish president should tell Ukraine’s Vladimir Zelensky that Warsaw “will no longer put up with this behavior” by Kiev. “I urge you to rethink Poland’s position [regarding] this war in the event that the red line is crossed again!” Pakula concluded. Pakula’s Facebook page still has a Ukrainian flag over his portrait photo, and lists him as chairman of the city council of Lublin, the seat of the region where Przewodow is located. The official city website, however, notes that he was no longer in office as of November 11. Zelensky was quick to accuse Russia of attacking Poland and the entire NATO after a missile exploded in Przewodow on Tuesday afternoon, killing two people.

The government in Kiev said the incident showed the need for NATO to “close the sky” over Ukraine, as they have demanded since February. While Zelensky continues to insist the missile was Russian, Warsaw and Moscow have both identified it as a S-300 air defense missile, with Poland calling it “Russian-made” and Russia pointing out it was in Ukrainian service. The US and NATO have also described the missile as an air defense rocket that strayed, seeking to minimize the incident while also arguing that Russia was the ultimate culprit for bombing Ukraine in the first place. The Russian military has pointed out that Tuesday’s missile strikes on Ukrainian military and energy infrastructure targets came nowhere close to the Polish border.

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And despite accusing Russia of attacking it.

Poland Wants Russian Oil Despite EU Embargo – Kommersant (RT)

Poland plans to continue buying Russian oil in 2023 via the “Druzhba” (Friendship) pipeline, despite vows from the country’s authorities to abandon imports from the sanctioned country, the daily Kommersant reported on Wednesday. Poland’s major oil refiner and retailer Orlen has sent a bid to Russia’s oil and gas transporting company Transneft to receive three million tons of oil through the Druzhba pipeline in 2023, the outlet reported, citing a source in the Polish oil industry. Transneft has confirmed the order without specifying which companies it came from and the requested volumes. On December 5, an EU embargo on Russian crude oil and petroleum products comes into force.

And even though it will not be applied to deliveries via the Druzhba pipeline, Germany and Poland, which receive oil through the northern branch of the pipeline, have officially announced that they will voluntarily give up Russian oil from the beginning of 2023. Kommersant has pointed out that the Polish oil company has active long-term contracts with Transneft and reminded readers that the country’s foreign minister Zbigniew Rau had said on November 14 that Orlen risks paying a penalty in case of a unilateral withdrawal from the agreement. At the moment, Orlen has stopped buying Russian oil on the spot market but continues to receive it under long-term contracts with Tatneft (2.4 million tons per year until 2024) and Rosneft (3.6 million tons per year), the outlet reports.

The contract with Rosneft was renewed for two years in March 2021 and, apparently, will still be valid in January and February 2023. Commenting on the issue, Transneft vice-president Sergey Andronov said that on top of the bids from the company’s clients, which use the southern leg of the Druzhba pipeline, there are “bids from Polish consumers for deliveries through Belarus in 2023.” Andronov added that he hoped that German buyers of Russian crude would be “equally reasonable about securing stable oil supplies” from Russia. Druzhba is one of the longest pipeline networks in the world and carries crude some 4,000 kilometers from the eastern part of European Russia to refineries in the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

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Reeks a bit of Nordstream.

Drone Strikes Deep In Russian Territory – Governor (RT)

A drone has struck an oil terminal in Russia’s Oryol Region, some 200km (124 miles) from the Ukrainian border, Governor Andrey Klychkov said. “Around 4am today, an apparent drone struck an oil terminal in the village of Stalnoy Kon,” he wrote on his Telegram channel on Wednesday. “Nobody was hurt. Emergency services are working on site,” Klychkov added. Although the region does not share a border with Ukraine, it borders the Russian regions of Kursk and Bryansk where officials reported multiple Ukrainian attacks after Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state on February 24.


News outlet Baza reported that the drone hit an upper section of a cylindrical steel tank, “a quarter” of which was filled with oil. The outlet added that there were no leaks or fires. According to news outlet Mash, the terminal is part of the Druzhba (Friendship) pipeline network, which delivers Russian oil to Europe. Oryol Region, together with several neighboring regions, was placed on a state of heightened alert last month.

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“The Americans suddenly interested in talking, and Macron and Scholz approaching Lavrov, point to the heart of the matter: the EU and the UK may not survive next winter, 2023-2024, without Gazprom.”

The G20’s Balinese Geopolitical Dance (Escobar)

The fog thickened because on the backdrop of the G20, the US and Russia were talking in Ankara, represented by CIA director William Burns and SVR (Foreign Intel) director Sergei Naryshkin. No one knows what exactly was being negotiated. A ceasefire is only one among possible scenarios. And yet heated rhetoric from NATO in Brussels to Kiev suggests escalation prevailing over some sort of reconciliation. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was adamant; de facto and de jure, Ukraine can’t and does not want to negotiate. So the Special Military Operation (SMO) will continue. NATO is training fresh units. Next possible targets are the Zaporizhzhya nuclear power plant and the left bank of the Dnieper – or even more pressure in the north of Lugansk.

For their part, Russian military channels advance the possibility of a winter offensive on Nikolaev: only 30 km away from Russian positions. Serious Russian military analysts know what serious Pentagon analysts must also know: Russia used at best only 10% of its military potential so far. No regular forces; most of them are DPR and LPR militias, Wagner commandos, Kadyrov’s Chechens and volunteers. The Americans suddenly interested in talking, and Macron and Scholz approaching Lavrov, point to the heart of the matter: the EU and the UK may not survive next winter, 2023-2024, without Gazprom. The IEA has calculated that the overall deficit by then will approach 30 billion cubic meters. And that presupposes “ideal” circumstances this coming winter: mostly warm; China still under lockdowns; much lower gas consumption in Europe; even increased production (from Norway?)

The IEA‘s models are working with two or three waves of price increases in the next 12 months. EU budgets are already on red alert – compensating the losses caused by the current energy suicide. By the end of 2023, that may reach 1 trillion euros. Any additional, unpredictable costs throughout 2023 mean that the EU economy will completely collapse: industry shutdown across the spectrum, euro in free fall, rise of inflation, debt corroding every latitude from the Club Med nations to France and Germany. Dominatrix Ursula von der Leyen, leading the European Commission (EC), of course should be discussing all that – in the interests of EU nations – with global players in Bali. Instead her only agenda, once again, was demonization of Russia. No niskala here; just tawdry cognitive dissonance.

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2023-24.

Eurozone Facing Deep Recession – Economists (RT)

The 19 countries that use the euro are expected to plunge into a much deeper recession in the coming months than earlier predicted, CNBC reported on Wednesday, citing economists. According to the report, the euro area has been under “significant pressure” due to a combination of sanctions against Russia, an abrupt end to Russian gas imports, and the need to provide financial support to households and firms struggling with the energy crisis. CNBC cited data from the European Commission showing that consumer confidence across the Eurozone plunged to a record low in September. It has improved slightly since then, but households still fear for the future and their financial positions, the report says.

“Consumer confidence has plunged so badly that the recession will likely not be shallow,” Holger Schmieding, chief economist at Berenberg Bank, told the news network. Preliminary growth estimates for the region suggest a slowdown in the third quarter from the previous three-month period – from 0.8% growth to 0.2%. According to Spyros Andreopoulos, a senior European economist at BNP Paribas, “It will be deeper than certainly what the ECB [European Central Bank] council expects.” Earlier this month, ECB President Christine Lagarde indicated that “the risk of recession has increased.” Andreopoulos told CNBC that he sees a risk the recession might drag into the second quarter of 2023.

Economists agree that even if the Eurozone emerges from a recession in the first quarter of next year, the subsequent months will still be challenging. s“I expect the recovery to be slow,” chief European economist at UniCredit, Marco Valli, told the network, citing higher interest rates as one of the main factors preventing a faster recovery. When asked if it was going to be an easy year for the euro area, Valli said: “No, absolutely not.”

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sundance: “If you have not watched this video, you really should. Justin from Canada leaked the content of a private bilateral conversation with Chinese Chairman Xi Jinping to the media. Chairman Xi was not happy with the breach of diplomatic protocol. What makes this video remarkable is the purposeful decision by Chairman Xi to confront Justin from Canada in front of a western audience. Xi never speaks directly in public and is always aware of cameras. The Chinese Chairman almost always goes through spokespeople to relay his public communication, reserving his voice for controlled and disciplined conversation with national leaders. However, not this time. Chairman Xi dresses down Justin from Canada publicly, in view of cameras and microphones. Watch, and stay with it to the end when Justin from Canada awkwardly looks for somewhere to hide. It’s quite funny.”

Xi Roasts Justin Trudeau At G20 (RT)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has publicly dressed down Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for leaking the content of their meeting to the media. Canadian reporters captured the exchange on video during the G20 summit in Bali, Indonesia on Wednesday. Barely a minute long, the exchange opens with Xi, speaking through a translator, telling Trudeau that “everything we discussed has been leaked to the papers.” “That is not appropriate. And that’s not the way the conversation was conducted,” Xi added. “If there was sincerity on your part…” “In Canada we believe in free and open and frank dialogue, and that is what we’ll continue to have,” Trudeau replied, speaking over the translator still trying to finish relaying Xi’s words. “We’ll continue to look to work constructively together but there will be things we will disagree on,” the Canadian leader added.


“Let’s create the conditions [for that] first,” replied Xi, offering Trudeau a handshake. While the Chinese leader smiled and moved on, the Canadian PM walked away from the camera, by himself. What Reuters described as “a rare display of public annoyance” by Xi follows media reports about the contents of his meeting with Trudeau on Tuesday. In the course of the ten-minute meeting, Trudeau raised “serious concerns” about China’s “interference activities” in Canada, ranging from industrial espionage to meddling in the 2019 federal election, a “government source” told AFP. According to the same source, they also discussed the situation in Ukraine, North Korea, and the upcoming biodiversity conference in December, which Beijing and Ottawa are co-hosting.

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How can you write about him without mentioning the Ukraine-FTX-Democrats connection?

Did SBF Buy Puff-Piece Propaganda? (ZH)

As FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried faces extradition to the USA following his fund’s commingled asset implosion, one might be a bit confused about the gravity of the situation given recent press coverage. For example, the NY Times on Monday published a cowering puff-piece which mentioned exactly none of the major accusations against the well-connected Democrat mega-donor. Months before his firm imploded, Vox penned a slobbering review of SBF’s “Effective Altruism” program, painting him as a benevolent crime-fighter in his efforts to help ensure Joe Biden won the 2020 US election. But his motivations aren’t those of an ordinary Democratic donor — Bankman-Fried told Goldstein that fighting Trump was less about promoting Democrats than ensuring “sane governance” in the US, which could have “massive, massive, ripple effects on what the future looks like.” -Vox

Fast forward to Tuesday, when Vox proclaimed that SBF’s support of Democratic candidates to the tune of $40 million, second only to George Soros, is “massively overstated” and essentially no big deal. And what do we have here? SBF gave millions to corporate media outlets according to Tablet, and noted by @balajis, who suggests that it may have been done with “stolen customer funds.” Over the past two years, Bankman-Fried cultivated the media lavishly, if not carefully. Drawing on what then seemed like an unlimited pool of cash, SBF (as we’ll call the mythologized version of the real person) dispersed investments, advertising dollars, sponsorships, and donations to key news outlets—including ProPublica, Vox, Semafor, and The Intercept—with extraordinary effectiveness. -Tablet

And while some of said outlets (Semafor, and The Intercept for example) covered FTX without obvious bias, recent pieces from Vox suggest the investment has paid off in spades. On Wednesday, Vox must have realized how dumb they looked – leading to Vox’s Dylan Matthews (who oddly took the “Vox” reference out of his Twitter bio earlier today) dumping what appears to be incriminating texts with another Vox journo. And while the NY Times wasn’t on the list of outlets that received money, perhaps SBF’s deep-rooted establishment connections have something to do with it.

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“While US officials use the “politically correct” rhetoric of multipolarity and multilateralism, the Biden administration is determined to restore a unipolar world..”

American Attempts To Preserve Hegemony Vs The New World Order (Kortunov)

NATO was unexpectedly enriched by two promising members, and the American military-industrial complex entered very attractive new markets not only in Europe but also in other parts of the world. Unprecedented export opportunities have also opened up for US energy companies, which are increasing the supply of their expensive liquefied natural gas to Europe as an alternative to the cheap Russian pipeline variety. Among other things, the current crisis has shown that the intellectual and psychological inertia of the old unipolar world is far from being overcome and continues to actively influence the world’s politics and economics. The surprising unanimity shown by the countries of the European Union in their willingness to reject any form of “strategic autonomy” from the US makes one wonder how serious the desire for this very autonomy was in the first place.

But the recurrence of systemic unipolarity is not unique to the West. For example, the threat of secondary sanctions by the US has in many cases proved to be a decisive factor in determining the opportunities and constraints for non-Western countries to develop economic and other cooperation with Moscow. Under US pressure, Turkey decided to refuse to service Russian Mir payment cards, and China’s Huawei was forced to begin winding down its activities in Russia. The new US National Security Strategy recently signed by Biden is steeped in outright restorationist pathos. The document speaks of the indispensability of American leadership, the unchanging task of “containing” China and Russia, the promotion of liberal values around the world, etc.

While US officials use the “politically correct” rhetoric of multipolarity and multilateralism, the Biden administration is determined to restore a unipolar world, exactly as it existed in the 1990s. To quote a well-known aphorism from the days of the Bourbon restoration to the French throne after the Napoleonic wars, one can state that Washington strategists “have learned nothing and forgotten nothing.” Which is not surprising when you consider what age group Biden, Nancy Pelosi and Donald Trump belong to.

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“We are always concerned when we really don’t know what Erdogan may say or do…”

US Congress Will Continue To Oppose Jet Sale To Turkey – Rep. Malliotakis (K.)

US representative Nicole Malliotakis appeared confident on Wednesday that both the Senate and Congress will ultimately uphold a provision banning the sale of F-16s to Turkey without a firm commitment that the fighter jets will not be used against America’s allies. “We feel that we are in a good place and we are going to continue to advocate for the protection of our allies,” Malliotakis told state broadcaster ERT in Washington, after signing a letter along with another 21 representatives urging US lawmakers to uphold the provision. Despite the fact that the provision was dropped by the Senate in its version of the defense spending bill last month, getting the amendment passed in the first place “played a very strong role and also sent a very strong message to the Administration that there is bipartisan opposition in both the House and the Senate,” Malliotakis, a Republican, said.

“We’re working with Senator Menendez as the chair of foreign affairs and I’ve been working with [Michael] McCaul, who I think might be the next chair of foreign affairs in the House, to ensure that there is a not a sign-off on such as sale,” she added, referring to Senator Bob Menendez, one of the original authors of the amendment. Asked whether support for the provision would continue should the Republican party gain control of the House, Malliotakis said that “a majority of the members of the House still oppose [the sale].” “When we had that amendment come to the floor, we were able to get the Republican votes, and they were the ones that actually passed the bill,” she said.

“We are always concerned when we really don’t know what Erdogan may say or do. He has been acting aggressively and his rhetoric has been disturbing, but that’s why we need members of Congress, we need the Administration to reaffirm its support for our allies in the region,” Malliotakis told ERT.

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“..a decline in sperm count in North America, Europe, Australia and parts of Asia of 28.5% between 1973 and 2011..”

“..average global sperm count in 2018 was 49 million per milliliter of semen. When a man’s sperm count drops below about 45 million per milliliter, his ability to cause a pregnancy starts dropping dramatically..”

Sperm Counts Plummeting Dramatically – Faster Than Previously Thought (EHN)

For years, scientists across the world have gathered evidence showing declines in sperm quality. Now, new research compiling the results of those studies has found that sperm count has dropped dramatically around the world, and the rate of decline is accelerating.

In a new analysis, researchers at Mount Sinai Medical Center, the University of Copenhagen, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, among others, found that sperm count globally dropped by more than half between 1973 and 2018, and that the decline is accelerating: Since 1972, sperm count has dropped by about 1% each year. Since 2000, the annual decrease has been, on average, more than 2.6%. The findings raise concerns that an increasing number of people will need assistance to reproduce, as well as concerns about the overall health of human society, since low sperm count is linked to higher rates of some diseases. And while scientists are still trying to tease out the reasons for the drop, chemical exposures, especially to pesticides, are a likely factor — and climate change may even play a role. Researchers are calling for urgent action to bolster more research into sperm count, determine the causes of the decline, and prevent further deterioration of male reproductive health. “We have clear evidence that there is a crisis in male reproduction,” Hagai Levine, lead author on the study and an epidemiologist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, told EHN.

The study builds on the team’s previous research, which showed a decline in sperm count in North America, Europe, Australia and parts of Asia of 28.5% between 1973 and 2011. Adding data from 38 studies to the new analysis has made the case for sperm decline stronger, Shanna Swan, an author on the paper and a leading reproductive epidemiologist at Mount Sinai, told EHN. “It’s really alarming,” said Swan, who is also an adjunct scientist with Environmental Health Sciences, which publishes EHN.org. Swan authored the book Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race. The research found that the average global sperm count in 2018 was 49 million per milliliter of semen. When a man’s sperm count drops below about 45 million per milliliter, his ability to cause a pregnancy starts dropping dramatically, said Swan.

She said the results could mean that in the coming decades, large swaths of the global population of men could be subfertile or infertile, or could require assisted reproduction techniques, like in vitro fertilization, or IVF, hormone treatment, or a technique called intracytoplasmic sperm injection, in which sperm are directly injected into an egg. In addition to the drop in average sperm count, Levine said it was surprising that the rate of decline was accelerating, rather than slowing down. “Is there a tipping point, that once you cross, you get an even worse situation?” he said. “That’s something to really pay attention to.”

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Well, they got the House now… Let’s go!

Fauci’s Pandemic Leadership Needs to Be Investigated – Dr. Scott Atlas (ET)

Former White House COVID-19 adviser Dr. Scott Atlas sees multiple reasons for an investigation into Dr. Anthony Fauci, the outgoing director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Such a probe has been discussed as Republicans inch closer to a House majority that would grant them subpoena powers. Some Republican lawmakers have accused Fauci of playing a role in misleading the public about the origins of COVID-19 and supporting pandemic mandates they describe as draconian. While Atlas, a vocal critic of the NIAID head, is “very skeptical” that an investigation like this could get away from politics or the perception of it being political, he thinks it’s warranted. Fauci’s changing stance on certain COVID-19 policies needs to be put under the spotlight, Atlas recently said on EpochTV’s “Newsmakers.”

“The real, clear public airing of exactly what happened needs to be done,” said Atlas, a senior fellow in health care policy at the Hoover Institution and contributor to The Epoch Times. “I personally am very skeptical that a political investigation, no matter who does it, is going to be done without politics, or if it’s going to be perceived as nonpolitical. I don’t trust people in government at all. They don’t deserve to be trusted, to be objective. “What was the motivation to flip flop multiple times with policy?” His question was referring to Fauci’s changing stance on pandemic school closures that drew criticism in late 2020.

He further questioned if there had been any “cover-up” of funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Fauci’s division, citing the awards to the Wuhan Institute of Virology through the New York nonprofit EcoHealth Alliance as an example. EcoHealth Alliance, which continues to receive millions of dollars in grants from the NIH, was subjected to scrutiny by multiple federal agencies over its partnership with the Wuhan lab. The Office of Investigations of the Department of Health and Human Services in late 2020 briefly opened a probe over alleged “major fraud against the United States.” The probe was closed in January 2021, according to internal documents, which had the reasons for the closure redacted. The allegation states that “the COVID-19 virus was generated in … China with the assistance of an NIH Grant.”

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Schwab Bali

 

 

 

 

Wray

 

 

 

 

Good morning bear

 

 

Deep Field: The Impossible Magnitude of our Universe

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 152022
 
 November 15, 2022  Posted by at 9:45 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , ,  62 Responses »


Salvador Dali Sick Boy (Self-portrait in Cadaqués) 1923

 

US Scrambles To Reassure Ukraine After Milley Comments On Negotiations (Pol.)
Zelenksy At G20 Summit: This is The Moment To End The War (Tel.)
UN Calls On Russia To Pay Ukraine Reparations (RT)
The Kherson Question (Nora Hoppe)
‘The Last Battle for the World’ (Batiushka)
Poland To Seize Gazprom Assets (RT)
G20: What Does It Mean For Putin And The Event Itself? (Maxim Hvatkov)
GOP Nears House Majority With Two Race Calls In Arizona (JTN)
Midterm Success Brings US Democrats To A Historic Dilemma (Desai)
The Triumph of The Centre (Soldo)
FTX Implosion Takes Its First Crypto Victim (RT)
What the Collapse of FTX Means (Burja)
Corporate Layoffs Are A Warning Sign Of Coming ‘Economic Crash Landing’ (JTN)
World Population Expected To Hit 8 Billion On Nov. 15 (JTN)
A Father Fights for His Son & What’s Left of Democracy (Lauria)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tucker

 

 

 

 

Faith is an oasis in the heart which will never be reached by the caravan of thinking.”
~ Khalil Gibran

 

 

 

 

“The four-star general said during an appearance at the Economic Club of New York that a victory by Ukraine may not be achieved militarily..”

US Scrambles To Reassure Ukraine After Milley Comments On Negotiations (Pol.)

The Biden administration is in damage control mode after a top U.S. general said a window for peace talks between Kyiv and Moscow could open this winter, with senior officials scrambling to assure Ukraine it wasn’t undercutting its goal of expelling the Russians. Specifically, senior U.S. officials are telling their counterparts in Ukraine that the expected winter fighting pause doesn’t mean talks should happen imminently. Instead, they’re relaying that Washington will continue to support Kyiv’s militarily as it launches the next phase of advances on the battlefield, according to Ukrainian and U.S. officials familiar with the outreach.

The scramble follows comments last week by Gen. Mark Milley, the Joint Chiefs chair. The four-star general said during an appearance at the Economic Club of New York that a victory by Ukraine may not be achieved militarily, and that winter may provide an opportunity to begin negotiations with Russia. The general has spoken regularly with his Ukrainian counterpart, Gen. Valeriy Zaluzhnyy, including on Monday, according to a U.S. official. During the discussion, Zaluzhnyy did not express any concern or mention Milley’s comments even once, the person said. The person, along with others interviewed for this story, spoke on condition of anonymity in order to discuss internal deliberations.

Still, the flurry of calls and meetings with Ukrainians underscores the degree to which the administration is concerned about presenting a unified front on Ukraine and potential peace talks. Any prolonged public split among top U.S. officials could threaten the already delicate relationship between Washington and Kyiv at a key moment in the war. The Biden administration needs to ease those tensions as it balances its support for Ukraine with concerns that Western stockpiles of military equipment are running low, and the possibility of a Republican-controlled House next year that will slash aid for Kyiv. European leaders are growing anxious about the region’s energy crisis, with some raising questions with American counterparts in recent days about the extent to which talks could ease fears about rising costs.

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Google translation.

Using the optics of Kherson for a narrative that is utterly unrealistic. That’s how you prolong a war, not end it.

Zelenksy At G20 Summit: This is The Moment To End The War (Tel.)

Now is the time to end Russia’s “devastating” war and “save thousands of lives,” Ukrainian President Volodimir Zelensky said in a video address on Tuesday at the G20 summit on the Indonesian island of Bali. He presented a plan based on the withdrawal of Russian troops and the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity. “I am convinced that now is the time when the devastating Russian war must and can be stopped,” Zelensky said, addressing the leaders present, including Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Joe Biden. “It will save thousands of lives.” Russian leader Vladimir Putin is not present, he is replaced by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.


The Ukrainian head of state stressed that the war must be ended “justly and on the basis of the UN Charter and international law” and called for the release of all Ukrainian prisoners. “Please choose your path to leadership and together we will surely implement the peace formula.” Zelensky wants “effective security guarantees” and insists on an international meeting where the agreements are laid down in a peace treaty. “There are and cannot be any excuses for nuclear blackmail,” he added, emphatically thanking the “G19” – excluding Russia – for “making this clear.” He also called for expansion and extension of the grain deal that expires on November 19. According to the UN, 10 million tons of Ukrainian grain and other foodstuffs have been exported through the Black Sea since the deal was struck in July. That helped prevent a global food crisis.

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The UN should never choose sides in a conflict. That makes it obsolete.

UN Calls On Russia To Pay Ukraine Reparations (RT)

By a majority of votes, the UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution that would oblige Russia to compensate losses inflicted on Ukraine during the conflict and has recognized the need to create a special “international mechanism” that would allow it to do so. The resolution was supported by 94 countries in the 193-member world body vote on Monday. Some 73 more states abstained, while 14 countries voted against. Among others, those voting against the resolution included Russia itself, as well as China, Iran, and Syria. “An international mechanism for reparation for damage, loss, or injury”arising from Russia’s “wrongful acts” in Ukraine needs to be established, the resolution says.


The assembly’s members should create “an international register” that would include claims or data regarding damages, losses and injuries to Ukraine caused by Russia, the UN decided. While the UNGA resolutions are not legally binding, they do carry political weight. Russia’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, speaking on the topic of the resolution, called it a legally insignificant document. “At the same time, the co-authors cannot help but realize that the adoption of such a resolution will entail consequences that can boomerang back to them,” Nebenzia said. He added that the resolution intended to legalize the seizure of Russian assets previously frozen by Western countries.

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“The sacredness of Life is gone. We have become spectators… and our world has become a spectacle.”

The Kherson Question (Nora Hoppe)

I follow the news regularly on Russia’s Special Military Operation in Ukraine. And I have recently read and heard many varying and divisionary views on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Kherson, a city that is now lawfully part of Russia. Dispensing with the views of the pro-NATO side, which are of no interest, I am observing the division of thought amongst analysts, journalists and commenters in forums siding with the Russians: There are those who are outraged and see the withdrawal from Kherson as “a disgrace”, “a sign of weakness”, “an embarrassment”, “a poor strategy”, “unattractive optics”, etc. Others see it as the outcome of a difficult but wise decision – that was primarily made to save the lives of Russian soldiers, who would have been cut off by a massive flood if NATO were to blow up the Kakhovka Dam. (There may well be additional tactical reasons for the withdrawal, but they are not (yet) known to the public.)

When people speak of the “optics not looking good“… a film set immediately comes to my mind (I have worked in the film world for many years). And that immediately tells me how some people view this operation – as spectators: it has to have a good catchy script, suspense, uninterrupted action and – heaven forbid – no lulls! It has to ultimately supply a dopamine release. It has to have a “Dirty Harry Catharsis”. This reminds me of similar reactions to the prisoner exchange in mid-September, where some saw it as a sign of weakness to even think of releasing Azov prisoners… or when the Chinese government did not deliver a dramatic retort when Pelosi went to do her skit in Taiwan. What is at the base of these kinds of reactions? Why such impatience? Why such concern with “appearances”? Why such a need to satiate one’s own personal sense of justice and retribution?

Does it have something to do with consuming? Especially in the western world one has become an addicted consumer of not only things but “experiences” that can be lived indirectly. Today we witness events of other peoples’ wars and battles on computer screens from the comfort of our homes or on our tiny phones from chic cafés… these events can accessed at any moment – just press a key… and they appear – like a scene in a film, a game, a contest, a sports match. Even the dead bodies that lie mangled, bloodied or in gory stumps strewn over the mud become the pieces of a broken puppets on a stage. “Hell, one gets used to it…” The sacredness of Life is gone. We have become spectators… and our world has become a spectacle.

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“..a war of liberation against the Combined West..”

‘The Last Battle for the World’ (Batiushka)

When last week Allied troops quit the right (= western, or in this case northern (1)) bank of the Dnieper and so the regional city of Kherson (original population 283,000), confusion reigned among those with a short-term view of this conflict. Probably they had been listening to Western propaganda for too long. Probably they had forgotten that if Russia had difficulties holding right-bank Kherson, then the Ukraine would certainly have even more difficulties. Let us return to some basic facts in order to clear up some of the confusion The government of the Russian Federation was reluctant to intervene in the post-regime change Ukraine of 2014. It always hoped that negotiations and diplomacy would overcome Western aggressiveness and stupidity.

The government of the Russian Federation knew that the USA through its NATO vassals was pumping the Ukraine full of arms and training its troops for the eight years between 2014 and 2022. Therefore the government of the Russian Federation had eight years in which to plan for this conflict, planning different scenarios and also preparing probing and distracting movements, like that towards Kiev last March. One scenario was that the US would continue to intervene on the side of its Kiev puppet and arm it to the teeth, also using NATO countries, officers and huge numbers of mercenaries to prolong the conflict, so that it would develop into a US war against Russia. That is exactly what has happened.

Russia defeated the Ukraine in March, but since then it has had to defeat the USA and its NATO allies, demilitarising them just as it demilitarised the Ukraine in the first month of the conflict. This is why there will be no quick end to what the conflict has become – a war of liberation against the Combined West. A NATO Ukraine with Cargill-Monsanto-Blackstone-Black Rock-owned land, anti-Slav biolabs, potential nuclear arms, US missiles on the border with the Federation, genocide in the Russian East and South, Western globalism and its escaped covid experiment with bioweapons helping it to destroy Russia and so set up its World Dictatorship, became more and more abhorrent. All this made Russian liberation more and more probable. But liberation only of the willing. And who was willing?

The government of the Russian Federation always knew that in the far west of the Ukraine, formerly Poland, there was hatred for Russia and therefore it had no interest in taking that. The government of the Russian Federation and its Allies first had to free its allies in the Donbass and then demilitarise and denazify the rest of the ‘Anti-Russia’ Ukraine, which was threatening its survival. Today Ukraine is running a budget deficit of up to $5 billion per month, with the country’s military spending increasing fivefold to $17 billion for the first seven months of 2022.

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Why do they want a pipeline that has no gas flowing through it?

Poland To Seize Gazprom Assets (RT)

Warsaw is set to confiscate the assets of Russian energy major Gazprom, the country’s media reported on Monday. The move will target the company’s 48% stake in EuroPolGaz, which owns the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe pipeline that used to carry Russian gas to the EU. The decision to seize Gazprom’s shares was reportedly made by Minister of Development and Technology Waldemar Buda at the request of Poland’s Internal Security Agency. It is intended to “ensure the security of [Poland’s] critical infrastructure,” the ministry said. According to the media, Polish authorities said the order should be implemented immediately and established a mandatory administration in respect of the Russian entity to ensure the continued functionality of EuroPolGaz, a joint venture between the Russian gas major and Poland’s PGNiG.


The Polish energy major also owns a 48% stake in EuroPolGaz, and Gas-Trading SA the remaining 4%. The Yamal-Europe gas pipeline passes through Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany, and it used to carry nearly half of Gazprom’s westbound gas deliveries. Poland’s sanctions against the Russian gas producer have deprived the company of its shareholder status in EuroPolGaz since April, blocking its voting rights and the ability to repatriate dividends. In May, the Polish government terminated a Russian natural gas contract without waiting for its expiry at the end of 2022, saying the country’s section of the Yamal-Europe gas pipeline could be used for supplies from Germany.

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G20 – G7 = BRICS. Not exactly, but close.

G20: What Does It Mean For Putin And The Event Itself? (Maxim Hvatkov)

Participants of the G20 summit have already arrived in Bali, and it seems that some wish Putin was there. French President Emmanuel Macron has stated the need to continue dialogue with Russian President, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz admitted that “it would be good if Putin went,” and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan believes that the participation of his Russian counterpart would be appropriate. All this is against the backdrop of China’s support. The Washington Post has written that Western countries are alarmed by the partnership between Putin and Xi. The newspaper’s sources do not think that Beijing will refuse to support Russia at the summit even after the meeting between Biden and and the Chinese head-of-state.

Although several days have passed since Sergey Lavrov’s trip was announced, it is still unknown whether any bilateral meetings are planned for the Russian minister. In particular, Moscow has yet to mention a possible encounter with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. The main news about Lavrov in Bali, so far, was pushed by AP and some other Western outlets, on Monday, reporting that he had been taken to hospital with heart problems shortly after arriving. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said these reports are “top-level fake news”. The diplomat, who is also in Bali, said that she was reading the news with the foreign minister and they both “just couldn’t believe our eyes.” Earlier she announced that Lavrov plans to speak at the summit about Russia’s initiatives to provide food and energy to foreign markets. In addition, Moscow’s agenda includes presenting its plan to enhance gas cooperation with Turkey.

[..] However, it is not known whether the 2022 Bali summit will be useful in helping the world take a step forward in overcoming the Ukrainian crisis, as some expect. So far, all the statements of Western leaders have indicated the opposite. Western countries have been putting pressure on the summit’s host to exclude the Russian Federation from the event since Vladimir Putin announced the military operation in Ukraine last February. For example, the US president’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, said that Russia can no longer take part in the international community’s business “as usual,” while Polish Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau even suggested that his country should take Moscow’s place in the G20 club. Nevertheless, Indonesia sent an invitation to President Putin, despite the pressure.

[..] The G20 format was born in the late 1990s after the Asian financial crisis, when the mainly Western countries in the ‘Big Seven’ – the US, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and Canada – realized that a number of large economies were not participating in discussions on global issues. The newcomers invited to the table include Argentina, Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, China, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, South Korea, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and the European Union. However, the format did not reach its current status until the next global financial crisis, in 2008-2009. Prior to that, the meetings had only included finance ministers and the heads of central banks. However, subsequently world leaders themselves met at the summits annually to consult, first and foremost, on financial and economic issues. In 2013, the G20 was held in St. Petersburg. [..] The G20 countries are home to two-thirds of the world’s population. They also account for 85% of world GDP and about 75% of world trade.

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Ballots, not votes.

GOP Nears House Majority With Two Race Calls In Arizona (JTN)

A Monday night vote dump from Arizona prompted the Associated Press to call two more congressional races in favor of Republican candidates, nearly one week after the Nov. 8 midterm elections. The AP called the contest in Arizona’s 1st District for the GOP’s David Schweikert and the 6th District race for Republican Juan Ciscomani. The outlet has projected Republicans to win 214 seats thus far, meaning they need just four more to claim the speaker’s gavel from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Republicans currently lead in seven of the 16 remaining uncalled races. Of those, one is New York’s 22nd District in which Republican Brandon Williams maintains a 4,000-vote lead over Democrat Francis Conole.


In Colorado, Republican Rep. Lauren Boebert is hanging on to a slightly more than 1,000-vote lead. All remaining races currently favoring Republicans are in California. Should Williams and Boebert triumph, the GOP would need to win just two of the five California races in which they currently enjoy leads to take the House, barring any unexpected leader flips in the nine uncalled contests currently favoring Democrats. The final result, regardless of which party wins the House, is likely to be one of the narrowest margins of control in the history of the lower chamber.

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Dr. Radhika Desai, a professor at the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, Canada and director of the Geopolitical Economy Research Group. She also writes on current affairs for Valdai Club, CGTN, Counterpunch and other outlets and is the author of Geopolitical Economy: After US Hegemony, Globalization and Empire and Capitalism, Coronavirus and War: A Geopolitical Economy

Midterm Success Brings US Democrats To A Historic Dilemma (Desai)

Pictures of a smirking President Biden graced the front pages of newspapers in the days following the midterm elections. The worst fears of the Democrats – that they would lose both houses of Congress to the Republicans in an electoral debacle that would pave the way to a MAGA Trump presidency in 2024 – remained unrealized. The feared ‘red wave’ had turned into a ‘red ripple’, and President Biden was already talking of running again in 2024, when he will be 82. How sound is this assessment? While the results are yet to be finalized, we know that the Democrats will likely continue narrowly controlling the Senate thanks to the casting vote of the vice president, and that the Republicans will gain a small majority in the House. All the praise for Biden for not losing more comes from comparisons with past midterm losses for incumbent presidents.

However, this fails to take account of critical recent changes which, if factored in, indicate not so much a secure electoral future for the Democrats but the possibility that the Democrats may have jumped from the proverbial frying pan of the increasingly complex structure of US politics, into the fire. Politics scholar William Galston has noticed the change. Speaking of US presidential elections, he observed that ‘between 1920 and 1984… the contest between the two parties resembles World War Two, with a high level of mobility and rapid gains and losses of large swaths of territory. By contrast, the contemporary era resembles World War One, with a single, mostly immobile line of battle and endless trench warfare.’ Given how few seats changed hands, it appears that this logic also applies to congressional elections, and despite recent demographic changes – college education, urbanization etc. – somewhere between 40 and 45% of the US electorate remains solidly Republican.

Moreover, Biden and his Democrats appear to have lost an unpopularity contest, rather than won a popularity contest. As President Biden’s approval rating plumbed new depths, many Democratic candidates shunned him in their campaigns. President Trump, for his part, didn’t do much better. Though most of the candidates he endorsed won, none of those he endorsed for highly contested races did. Many commentators blamed this on his emphasis on candidates who agreed with his false narrative of the ‘stolen’ 2020 presidential election. It led him to scrape the barrel of candidates, and to choose some pretty unattractive specimens. With Ron DeSantis pulling off a spectacular victory in Florida, the possibility that he will replace Trump as the Republican nominee for president is being canvassed. Even if that happens, Trumpist politics are going nowhere anytime soon.

This is clear from many aspects of the voting pattern. The small gains the Democrats made came very substantially from women and young people, generally turning out in large numbers and voting Democrat because they felt strongly about abortion rights. However, this factor may lose its utility for the Democrats if, as seems increasingly the case, the Republicans also soften their stance on abortion. For the rest, the gains came from the usual source, money. Not only was this the most expensive midterm ever, experts suggest that the Democrats outspent the Republicans very considerably. This has returned US elections to the pattern where elections are essentially bought by the highest spending party, a pattern that the election of President Donald Trump very briefly reversed.

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“..Trump would have to commandeer a vehicle in order to enact his agenda. The only possible vehicle that could assist him was the GOP. This party’s leadership had no desire to enact Trump’s populist revolution..”

The Triumph of The Centre (Soldo)

Film and television have trained our brains to expect narrative arcs in everything we experience, from rising action, through to a climax, and ending in a denouement. Real life is not like this at all, but many of us cannot help but to interpret at least some of our own lives in this fashion. We apply this trajectory to our high school lives, our first romantic relationships, even our careers. Thinking that we are at the centre of a story helps give our lives meaning, and we are all guilty of it from time to time. The rise of political theatre is also hostage to this frame of reference. We are wont to perceive political developments progressing along a neat and tidy storyline, with all the ups, downs, shocks, disappointments, and celebrations that are built into traditional storytelling. At the end, our political option is the winner, and they all went home happily ever after.

2016 USA is a classic case of this: two simultaneous challenges to the status quo came out of nowhere to threaten the ruling elites. From the left, the ‘BernieBros’ promised Americans a fairer deal that included goodies like universal healthcare. From the right, #MAGA tapped into the powerful energy of the GOP base and its rejection of mass migration, de-industrialization, and open hostility to ordinary, everyday Americans emanating from the coastal elites. For #MAGA, 2016 was indeed a fairy tale; an example of ‘people power’ where the people steamrolled first their own party’s elites, and then those of the opposing party as well. This massive surprise went to people’s heads (and to be fair, rightly so). The feeling was that the system could be reformed, the ship steered back ‘on course’, and that America genuinely could be made ‘great again’.

The problem was that it was one thing to win an election, but it was a totally different thing to actually govern and lead a revolution. And let’s be honest: a revolution is what the overwhelming majority of Trump voters in 2016 wanted. They saw a system that not only did not work for them, but was actively working against them. Trump tapped into this populist sentiment when no one else did, and rode it to the White House. Unfortunately for his supporters, Trump was no revolutionary and his presidency was a disaster thanks in part to the ruling elites subverting it, in part due to his own incapability, and also due to an Act of God. You wanted a revolutionary, instead you got a reality TV show host who was excellent on the campaign trail, but utterly out of his depth in the Oval Office.

He wasn’t the first to be ill-suited for the White House, but he was the first in a long, long time that [was] not fit and not installed by the elites. One man cannot do it all alone. The US system is a set of checks and balances to ensure that precisely this cannot happen. That means that Trump would have to commandeer a vehicle in order to enact his agenda. The only possible vehicle that could assist him was the GOP. This party’s leadership had no desire to enact Trump’s populist revolution and immediately got to work to strangle his agenda, while using him to implement their own (e.g. Paul Ryan’s tax cut bill in 2017 or SCOTUS appointments).

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There are 19,000 “coins”?!

FTX Implosion Takes Its First Crypto Victim (RT)

The cryptocurrency Solana, associated with the bankrupt FTX exchange, continued its three-day retreat on Monday to trade at around $14 a token. The price is now down 95% from its all-time high of $259.96 last November. The token has lost 61.6% of its value in the last seven days, according to data firm CoinGecko. The drop is a result of the November 8 collapse of the FTX crypto exchange, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday. Since then, the price of Solana has declined by 51.5%, which translates into a $5.5 billion loss in market value. The launch of bankruptcy proceedings by FTX came days after larger rival Binance abandoned plans to acquire the company and left it with the task of raising roughly $9 billion from investors and rivals to stay afloat. Binance backed out of the deal after a due diligence examination and recent reports of mishandled customer funds, as well as alleged investigations by the US authorities into the company.


Meanwhile, blockchain research firm Nansen revealed over the weekend that $662 million flowed out of FTX’s US and international exchanges. The firm’s main wallet, which was used to process withdrawals, was drained of its entire balance of 45.8 million FTT tokens, worth an estimated $97.2 million, Nansen said. On Monday, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao announced plans to set up an industry recovery fund in an effort to “reduce further cascading negative effects” of the FTX bankruptcy. Zhao added the fund will assist otherwise strong projects that are facing a liquidity squeeze. The crypto market has lost 17.6%, or $188.4 billion, since November 7, with major crypto Bitcoin sliding down 22.4% in one week. Ether, the second cryptocurrency by market value, has fallen 24.4% over the past seven days.

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“Daily volume hit a high of around $11 billion in mid-2021, at a time of soaring cryptocurrency prices and high market volatility—ideal conditions for both a hedge fund and an exchange.”

What the Collapse of FTX Means (Burja)

After beginning his career in traditional finance at leading quantitative trading firm Jane Street Capital, Bankman-Fried’s initial forays into cryptocurrency began in October 2017 with the founding of the cryptocurrency hedge fund Alameda Research. According to Bankman-Fried, it was founded initially to take advantage of a persistent but hard-to-exploit 20% disparity between the Bitcoin price denominated in Japanese yen and the same price denominated in U.S. dollars, one that lasted until January 2018. From there the firm expanded to quantitative trading more broadly across the entire cryptocurrency domain, moving its headquarters from California to Hong Kong, and later to the Bahamas, due to the difficulty of establishing and maintaining relationships with banks in the U.S. as a cryptocurrency trading firm.

It remains unclear why exactly Bankman-Fried and Alameda decided to start their own exchange. There are two sources of natural fit between an exchange and a quantitative trading firm: one legal, the other less so. The trading firm, acting as market maker, can supply the liquidity the new exchange needs to attract and retain new users. Alameda’s constant presence trading on FTX, initially providing almost 50% of liquidity, was almost certainly largely responsible for the site’s massive growth, as it grew trading volume from $50 million a day to $300 million a day in just four weeks between June and July 2019.16 The nascent exchange also benefited from a timely outflow of customers from the cryptocurrency exchange BitMex, at the time under investigation by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CTFC) for illegally providing services to U.S. residents.

Alternatively, however, the exchange’s customer funds can also be used as capital for the trading firm to use on its own account—an illicit practice, as unlike banks, an exchange ostensibly keeps all customer deposits available for redemption and rather makes its money from transaction fees. That FTX’s spreads were notoriously tight, even in its early days, might suggest that Alameda was making money in a different way to the typical methods of market makers.17 FTX soared in popularity thanks to the high leverage it offered,18 provision of cross-margining,19 attractive user interface, and high-quality liquidity and risk engines. Daily active users grew from two thousand in 2019 to almost 15,000 in 2020 to over 60,000 in 2021. Daily volume hit a high of around $11 billion in mid-2021, at a time of soaring cryptocurrency prices and high market volatility—ideal conditions for both a hedge fund and an exchange.

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It’s beginning… “We now have $1 trillion in consumer debt on top of $4.1 trillion of Biden debt.”

Corporate Layoffs Are A Warning Sign Of Coming ‘Economic Crash Landing’ (JTN)

Three days after President Biden said the country’s “not anywhere near a recession right now,” Amazon founder and Executive Chairman Jeff Bezos warned a sharp economic downturn is looming. “The economy does not look great right now,” Bezos told CNN on Saturday. “Things are slowing down. You’re seeing layoffs in many, many sectors of the economy. The probabilities say if we’re not in a recession right now, we’re likely to be in one very soon.” The billionaire entrepreneur declined to estimate how long he thinks the recession would last but cautioned people to prepare for a time of economic struggle. “Take as much risk off the table as you can,” he said. “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”


Two days after the interview, several media outlets reported that Amazon plans to lay off about 10,000 employees in corporate and technology roles beginning this week, the largest job cuts in the company’s history. Amazon’s decision was the latest in a string of recent corporate layoffs amid fears of a coming recession next year. Last week, for example, Facebook parent Meta announced the company is laying off 13% of its staff. Meanwhile, Disney is planning a hiring freeze and some job cuts, according to an internal company memo obtained by CNBC. [..] economic experts have been warning a recession is looming. “I think we are on the verge of a debt-driven economic crash landing,” economist Stephen Moore told Just the News. “These layoff announcements are the canary in the coal mine. We now have $1 trillion in consumer debt on top of $4.1 trillion of Biden debt.”

Americans could hold nearly $1 trillion in collective credit card debt before the end of the year due to historically high inflation, which has caused everyday costs such as food to skyrocket. According to experts who previously spoke to Just the News, soaring inflation was caused by Biden’s economic policies — namely too much spending — combined with the Federal Reserve keeping interest rates near zero while continuing to print money. Now the Federal Reserve is raising rates to slow down the economy in order to combat inflation. Doing so, however, may push the economy into a downturn, even a recession, next year. Still, the Biden administration and some economists remain optimistic that the economy can avoid such a fate with a so-called soft landing. Many projections, however, see the situation differently.


There’s a 65% chance of a recession within the next 12-18 months, according to a survey of economists conducted by Bankrate, a consumer financial services company, for its Third-Quarter Economic Indicator. That estimate is up from 52% in its second quarter survey and about one-third in its first quarter survey. Meanwhile, Bloomberg economists’ projection models from last month show a 100% chance of an economic downturn by October 2023, up from a 65% probability for the comparable period in the model’s previous update. The CEOs of both Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan, the U.S. and European economic teams for Barclays bank, and former Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren are among those who also forecast a recession next year.

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Symbolic numbers.

World Population Expected To Hit 8 Billion On Nov. 15 (JTN)

The world’s human population is expected to reach 8 billion on Tuesday, according to a United Nations report released earlier this year. The United Nations will host events on Tuesday to mark “milestone in human development” that is the “Day of Eight Billion,” according to NEXSTAR. The population cleared 7 billion just 12 years ago and is expected to reach 9 billion in another 15 years. “This is an occasion to celebrate our diversity, recognize our common humanity, and marvel at advancements in health that have extended lifespans and dramatically reduced maternal and child mortality rates,” U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in July, per the outlet. “At the same time, it is a reminder of our shared responsibility to care for our planet and a moment to reflect on where we still fall short of our commitments to one another.”


The milestone will come as international representatives meet for the COP27 climate summit and float a draft agreement to establish an international climate damage fund that would compensate poorer countries, often some of the most densely populated, for climate-related damages. Many details, including funding sources and damage amounts, remain undetermined and the plan is likely to stall in the international community, barring extensive revisions. Approximately 70% of births occur in low-income and lower-middle-income nations, NEXSTAR observed. Those countries will account for 90% of global population growth in the 15-year period leading up to the projected 9 billion figure. Many such countries would be beneficiaries under the draft U.N. plan.

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Ithaka.

A Father Fights for His Son & What’s Left of Democracy (Lauria)

These personal attacks were planned as far back as March 8, 2008 when a secret, 32-page document from the Cyber Counterintelligence Assessment branch of the Pentagon described in detail the importance of destroying the “feeling of trust that is WikiLeaks’ center of gravity.” The leaked document, which was published by WikiLeaks itself, said: “This would be achieved with threats of exposure and criminal prosecution and an unrelenting assault on reputation.” An answer to these slurs and the missing focus on Assange as a man is Ithaka. The film, which made its U.S. premiere Sunday night in New York, focuses on the struggle of Assange’s father, John Shipton, and his wife, Stella Assange, to free him.

If you are looking for a film more fully explaining the legal and political complexities of the case and its background, this is not the movie to see. The Spanish film, Hacking Justice, will give you that, as well as the more concise exposition in the brilliant documentary, The War on Journalism, by Juan Passarelli. Ithaka, directed by Ben Lawrence and produced by Assange’s brother, Gabriel Shipton, humanizes Assange and reveals the impact his ordeal has had on the people closest to him. The title comes from the poem of that name by C.P. Cavafy (read here by Sean Connery) about the pathos of an uncertain journey. It reflects Shipton’s travels throughout Europe and the U.S. in defense of his son, arguably the most consequential journalist of his generation.

The story begins with Shipton arriving in London to see his son for the first time behind bars after the publisher’s rights of asylum were lifted by a new Ecuadoran government leading to him being carried out of the embassy by London police in April 2019. “The story is that I am attempting in my own … modest way to get Julian out of the shit,” Shipton says. “What does it involve? Traipsing around Europe, building up coalitions of friendship.” He meets with parliamentarians, the media and supporters across the continent. Shipton describes the journey as the “difficulty of destiny over the ease of narrative.”He speaks to the European Parliament in Strasbourg and the German Bundestag in Berlin. In Paris, Shipton admits to supporters that “he’s not okay, but I say he’s okay not to worry people.”

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Attack!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nov 142022
 
 November 14, 2022  Posted by at 9:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , ,  47 Responses »


Rembrandt van Rijn Let the little children come to me 1627-28

 

The Role Of “Useful Idiots” In Modern PSYOPS (Saker)
G20 Host Urges West To Soften Anti-Russia Rhetoric – Politico (RT)
SBF’s Disgrace Awkward For Gary Gensler And The Democrats (Fortune)
Ukraine Invested In Top Dem Donor’s Crypto Company FTX (PM)
America’s Neo-Nazi Bedfellows In Ukraine Latest In a Long Line (Tony Cox)
The Road to Totalitarianism -Revisited- (CJ Hopkins)
White House Launches ‘Climate Gender Equity Fund’ (RT)
The ‘Garden Vs Jungle’ Worldview Is Not Only Racist, It’s Delusional (Hryce)
Washington Attempts to Bully India into Cutting Ties with Russia (NC)
IMF Says Global Economic Outlook Getting ‘Gloomier’ (Az.)
German Retailers Face Nightmare Before Christmas (RT)
Twitter Starts Massive Reductions In Contractors (RT)
US Senator Threatens Elon Musk (RT)
COVID-19 Mortality in England ‘Extremely Rare’ Among Under-20s (ET)

 

 

 

 

A Freeze in the Conflict?

 

 

 

 

Chappelle

 

 

Footprint

 

 

 

 

“doubleplusgoodshiteaters”

The Role Of “Useful Idiots” In Modern PSYOPS (Saker)

The second thing I need to address is what I believe is an analytical mistake by Bernhard on Moon of Alabama. He wrote that “This move is operationally sound” and yet he added “Strategically the move is bad“. We could wonder how a move could be operationally sound but strategically bad, but let’s not even go there. Bernhard’s argument is that “It closes for now the possibility of moving into Nikolaev (Mykolaiv) and further towards Odessa“. The problem here is that when we look at a map of the region we realize something very important: there are plenty of streams and rivers which flow north to south and which flow into the Black Sea. So any move along the coastline would imply having to get across quite a few river. Is this possible? Yes, absolutely.

But is that the best option? I am not so sure at all. I will simply say that this is the option the Ukronazis and NATO have been preparing for. Another option might be to move not West but North and then turn West to basically take all the NATO defenses around the Black Sea coastline from behind. Did I mention that there is now a joint Russian-Belarussian force deployed in Belarus which seems to worry NATO a lot and which could be used to pin down NATO forces near and north of Kiev. Is that what the Russians are planning? I don’t know. All I know is that it is wrong to assume that the only way to get to Odessa is by fighting along the coastline. Last, but not least, there is the (inevitable) rumor of a deal having been made between Putin and… … huh… well… somebody in the West (who? Brandon? Sunak? Macron?).


Now that is pure, unadulterated bullshit which only true doubleplusgoodshiteaters could swallow (though clickbaiters will use it to get their clicks and visibility!). Russia and the West have been locked into an existential war for survival since AT LEAST 2013 and we are very close to a possible nuclear war, but some folks still think that Putin works for the US, the WEF, Klaus Schwab, Bibi Netanuyahu. etc. etc. etc. My position on that is simple: anybody seriously believing this crap is not worth talking to, you would have better success arguing with a door nob. I sure won’t bother with them. I would also note that IF a real behind-the-scenes deal was made, the chances of Putin finalizing that deal with Western leaders at the G20 would be a perfect opportunity to finalize a deal. Yet, in reality, Putin is not even going to attend. Reach your own conclusions.

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German PM Scholz says he wishes Putin were in Bali, so the west can tell him what they think of him.

Scholz is fully blind to the fact that the west is a minority.

G20 Host Urges West To Soften Anti-Russia Rhetoric – Politico (RT)

G20 Summit host Indonesia is reportedly seeking to prevent the gathering of world leaders from becoming a Russia-bashing fest, urging Western politicians to temper their criticism of Moscow so all members can be brought on board with a communique at the end of the event. Indonesian President Joko Widodo and other officials in his government have asked Western leaders to make concessions on the extent of their anti-Russia rhetoric over the Ukraine crisis, Politico reported on Sunday, citing three unidentified diplomats with knowledge of the talks. The two-day summit will begin on Tuesday in Bali, and Widodo hopes to find enough common ground that all G20 members, including Russia and China, can agree to a group declaration.

Widodo also aims to prevent the group from following in the footsteps of the G8, which kicked out Moscow and became the G7 after Crimea voted to become part of Russia in 2014. A G7 statement earlier this month condemned Russia for its “war of aggression” against Ukraine and called for all Russian forces to be withdrawn from the former Soviet republic. The group also accused Russia of war crimes in Ukraine and blasted the Kremlin for “irresponsible nuclear rhetoric.” Such a statement wouldn’t likely find consensus in Bali, where Russia will be represented by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Several other G20 members, including China, India, Brazil and Saudi Arabia, would be reluctant, at the least, to sign on to a communique rebuking Russia. Politico said one possibility would be to issue a more general joint statement calling for “upholding international law.”


“Obviously we can’t be as tough as we do it in G7 when you need the Russians, Chinese and Saudis to agree,” a Western diplomat told the media outlet. “The question is how much we need to delete.” The US, Canada, Japan, Australia and major European countries are among the G20 members that Indonesian officials are targeting with their pleas for softer rhetoric. Widodo also hopes to avoid controversy over a group photo, like those typically taken at G20 meetings to show solidarity, given that some members might be reticent to line up in the same image with Lavrov. Last month, before Moscow announced that President Vladimir Putin wouldn’t attend the summit, Politico reported that White House officials were taking steps to ensure that Biden wouldn’t cross paths with the Russian leader.

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“@GaryGensler runs to the media while reports to my office allege he was helping SBF and FTX work on legal loopholes to obtain a regulatory monopoly.”

SBF’s Disgrace Awkward For Gary Gensler And The Democrats (Fortune)

Gary Gensler blew it again. After his agency failed to warn investors about Terra and Celsius—whose collapses this spring sparked a trillion-dollar investor wipeout—the Securities and Exchange Commission chair allowed an even bigger debacle to unfold right under his nose. I’m talking, of course, about the revelation this week that the $30 billion FTX empire was a house of cards and that its golden boy founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, is the crypto equivalent of Theranos’s Elizabeth Holmes. To be fair, Gensler was not the only one suckered by SBF. Nearly everyone else—myself included—fell for the narrative that SBF, with his cute afro and aw-shucks demeanor, was exactly the savior crypto needed to shake off its dodgy reputation and emerge as part of the mainstream financial system.

The problem is that cop-on-the-beat Gensler not only failed to spot the crime—he appeared set to go along with a legislative strategy that would have given SBF a regulatory moat and made him king of the U.S. crypto market. According to Washington insiders I spoke with, the reason behind SBF’s decision this summer to obtain control over BlockFi was to benefit from the troubled crypto lender’s recent settlement with the SEC—basically extending the amnesty BlockFi had received to FTX. Meanwhile, FTX’s recent tie-up with securities exchange IEX (of Flash Boys fame) would also help SBF’s empire come under the U.S. regulatory umbrella. All of this would clear FTX to have the U.S. market to itself as the company lobbied for legislation that could have torpedoed competitors like Binance as well as the emerging DeFi sector.


This appears to be what prominent House member Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) was referring to when he tweeted on Thursday that “@GaryGensler runs to the media while reports to my office allege he was helping SBF and FTX work on legal loopholes to obtain a regulatory monopoly.” Gensler, a former campaign finance chair for Hillary Clinton, is of course not the only prominent Democrat who may have been willing to flex his influence on behalf of FTX. SBF, you may recall, was one of the biggest donors to President Joe Biden, while his parents—both Stanford law professors—have ties to the party. His mother, Barbara Fried, leads a group called Mind the Gap that helps raise Silicon Valley cash for Democrats, while his father, Joseph Bankman, drafted tax legislation for the powerful Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass). It’s not a stretch to imagine SBF sought to exploit these political ties to his benefit.

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“It’s fascinating to see that the majority of the net equity in the Alameda business is actually FTX’s own centrally controlled and printed-out-of-thin-air token..”

Ukraine Invested In Top Dem Donor’s Crypto Company FTX (PM)

Roughly $5 billion was withdrawn from FTX on Sunday. The trouble began for FTX last week when rival crypto company Binance said they were selling off their holdings of FTT, which is the proprietary coin of FTX. After Binance said that, FTX was in financial trouble, and essentially sought a bailout from other firms, Binance among them. The New York Post reports that FTX’s implosion followed revelations “that co-founder Sam Bankman-Fried had been funneling money to a sister trading company run by his girlfriend.” That company, Alameda Research, is run by Bankman-Fried’s girlfriend, Caroline Ellison, and is also based in the Bahamas. Binance announced that they would buy the company, then pulled out of the deal, saying that after some due diligence, they decided it would not be a good investment.

“As a result of corporate due diligence, as well as the latest news reports regarding mishandled customer funds and alleged US agency investigations, we have decided that we will not pursue the potential acquisition of http://FTX.com,” Binance said on Twitter. “In the beginning, our hope was to be able to support FTX’s customers to provide liquidity, but the issues are beyond our control or ability to help. Every time a major player in an industry fails, retail consumers will suffer. We have seen over the last several years that the crypto ecosystem is becoming more resilient and we believe in time that outliers that misuse user funds will be weeded out by the free market. As regulatory frameworks are developed and as the industry continues to evolve toward greater decentralization, the ecosystem will grow stronger,” Binance said.


Part of the issue for Binance is that Alameda Research, helmed by Bankman-Fried’s girlfriend, holds a great deal of their assets in FTT, and FTX had invested their customers’ funds into Alameda through a “back door,” without oversight. “Late on Friday evening, it has since been confirmed that a total of around $10 billion was moved from FTX to Alameda Research by FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF),” Cryptoslate reported. Bitcoin Archive tweeted this out, which Cryptoslate noted was “used to move assets in the billions of dollars without triggering alerts to staff and external auditors.” “It’s fascinating to see that the majority of the net equity in the Alameda business is actually FTX’s own centrally controlled and printed-out-of-thin-air token,” said Cory Klippsten, CEO of investment platform Swan Bitcoin.

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Must Read?! “Dulles went so far as to send a rescue team to save Wolff when the general’s villa was surrounded by Italian partisans.”

America’s Neo-Nazi Bedfellows In Ukraine Latest In a Long Line (Tony Cox)

Soviet leader Joseph Stalin was furious when he found out in March 1945 that his supposed World War II ally, Washington, was negotiating with the German Nazis behind his back. In fact, by the accounts of some historians, American spy and future CIA director Allen Dulles essentially kicked off the Cold War when he held secret talks with Waffen SS General Karl Wolff as Hitler’s regime was nearing its collapse. Stalin, US President Franklin Roosevelt, and UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill had agreed that they would accept only unconditional surrender from the Nazis because of the Hitler regime’s monstrous crimes. When the Dulles-Wolff talks came to light, FDR repeatedly and falsely told Stalin that no one was negotiating with the Germans. The Georgian generalissimo was unconvinced and suspected that his Western allies were maneuvering to contain the USSR and occupy territory that might otherwise fall to the Red Army.

The Soviets had reason to be suspicious. Some in Washington, including Dulles, viewed the USSR as America’s biggest long-term threat even as the countries worked together to defeat Germany. As confirmed by documents that were finally declassified more than half a century later, US intelligence agencies were soon to hire upward of 1,000 Nazis as Cold War spies. By then, America already had a history of finding common cause against Moscow with unseemly allies. As the Soviets remembered well, the US had invaded Russia in 1918 in a failed effort to help overthrow the Bolshevik government. At the time, Washington was allied with White Army counter-revolutionaries, some of whom had a nasty taste for pogroms and other murderous atrocities.

Even as then-President Woodrow Wilson moralized to world leaders about self-determination and opposing external aggression – principles that would be applied only according to US self-interest in the generations ahead – he sent American forces to intervene in the Russian Civil War. He was to set a precedent that has continued to play out to this day, from Germany to Central Asia to the current Ukraine crisis. The pattern was clear: Portray America as the virtuous champion of freedom while working with anyone — however abhorrent their deeds and views might be — as long as they share Washington’s burning desire to hurt Russia.

In 1945, Dulles got his way with Wolff, formerly Heinrich Himmler’s right-hand man. The general and his group of SS officers, which was called the Black Order, agreed to surrender northern Italy to Allied forces. The deal didn’t avail much for the US, coming just six days before the full German surrender, and it sowed seeds of distrust with the Soviets and other allies. For his part, Wolff was spared the gallows, as the Nuremberg prosecutors mysteriously took him off their list of major war criminals and treated him as a “witness” to Nazi atrocities, rather than a perpetrator, according to historians. Dulles went so far as to send a rescue team to save Wolff when the general’s villa was surrounded by Italian partisans.

[..] Obama’s administration offered no condemnation when at least 48 people were killed and hundreds injured in an attack on anti-Euromaidan protestors in Odessa. Most of the victims were burned to death by a far-right mob when they tried to take shelter in the city’s union hall. Others were shot or beaten when they tried to escape the burning building. Ukraine’s fascist Right Sector group reacted by celebrating the massacre as “yet another bright page in our fatherland’s history.” Ukrainian MP Lesya Orobets, who had been praised by US media outlet Daily Beast as a “rising star” of the anti-Yanukovych opposition, also celebrated the killings, reportedly calling the Odessa incident a “liquidation” of pro-Russia enemies.

To this day, the perpetrators of the massacre haven’t been held accountable. The Council of Europe concluded in November 2020 that the Kiev government had failed to properly investigate and prosecute those responsible for the killings. Ukraine has continued to embrace its World War II Nazi collaborators, including Stepan Bandera, who is venerated in public marches. Two years after the coup, one of the main avenues in Kiev was renamed Stepan Bandera Street. Lviv also boasts a Stepan Bandera Street. In the eyes of Ukraine’s neo-Nazis, one of Yanukovich’s sins was his decision to revoke an earlier government declaration honoring Bandera as an official “Hero of Ukraine.”

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“Everything is back to normal, right? Wrong. Everything is not back to normal. Everything is absolutely New Normal.”

The Road to Totalitarianism -Revisited- (CJ Hopkins)

It feels like it’s finally over, doesn’t it, the whole “apocalyptic pandemic” thing? I mean, really, really over this time. Not like all those other times when you thought it was over, but it wasn’t over, and was like the end of those Alien movies, where it seems like Ridley has finally escaped, but the alien is hiding out in the shuttle, or the escape pod, or Ridley’s intestinal tract. But this time doesn’t feel like that. This time it feels like it’s really, really over. Go out and take a look around. Hardly anyone is wearing masks anymore (except where masks are mandatory) or being coerced into submitting to “vaccinations” (except where “vaccination” is mandatory), and the hordes of hate-drunk New Normal fanatics who demanded that “the Unvaccinated” be segregated, censored, fired from their jobs, and otherwise demonized and persecuted, have all fallen silent (except for those who haven’t).


Everything is back to normal, right? Wrong. Everything is not back to normal. Everything is absolutely New Normal. What is over is the “shock-and-awe” phase, which was never meant to go on forever. It was always only meant to get us here. Where, you’re probably asking, is “here”? “Here” is a place where the new official ideology has been firmly established as our new “reality,” woven into the fabric of normal everyday life. No, not everywhere, just everywhere that matters. (Do you really think the global-capitalist ruling classes care what people in Lakeland, Florida, Elk River, Idaho, or some village in Sicily believe about “reality”?) Yes, most government restrictions have been lifted, mainly because they are no longer necessary, but in centers of power throughout the West, in political, corporate, and cultural spheres, in academia, the mainstream media, and so on, the New Normal has become “reality,” or, in other words, “just the way it is,” which is the ultimate goal of every ideology.

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Sometimes I don’t recognize the world I live in.

WTF is “gender-responsive climate action?”

White House Launches ‘Climate Gender Equity Fund’ (RT)

US President Joe Biden has announced the launch of a Climate Gender Equity Fund to promote female “climate leaders.” He unveiled the new initiative at the United Nations COP 27 conference on Friday. A partnership between online retail company Amazon and government agency USAID, the fund will “leverage private sector contributions to provide women climate leaders with technical skills, networks and capital to develop and scale climate solutions,” the White House noted in a statement. To help solve climate change, according to Amazon worldwide sustainability vice president Kara Hurst, “we must address the gender inequalities that persist in climate finance, and ensure female entrepreneurs have an equal seat at the table and access to the funding, networks and technical support they need to scale climate solutions.”

Outlining the gravity of gender inequity in the climate space, Amazon revealed that “female-founded companies typically receive a fraction of total venture capital, and that percentage fell during the pandemic.” The online shopping giant, which saw its profits skyrocket during the pandemic, promised to supply an additional $50 million from its Climate Pledge Fund for investments in women-founded and -led climate technology firms. Apart from that, it is contributing $3 million toward the Climate Gender Equity Fund’s initial seed funding. The fund launches with $6 million in total, with USAID matching Amazon’s $3 million contribution.


The White House announcement states that the fund was also “enabled” by a $21 million appropriation by USAID from the Biden administration’s Gender Equity and Equality Action Fund with the aim of underscoring its “commitment to gender-responsive climate action.” The latter program, established last year with $100 million in taxpayer funds, an amount set to double for this year, is supposed to “advance economic security for women and girls globally.” A $430 billion spending package Biden signed in August included $386 billion in green energy subsidies and tax credits. The president’s speech at COP27 committed to several more ambitious green initiatives, including “establishing an international Climate Hub for climate-smart agriculture,” tightening emissions standards on the oil and natural gas industry, and using Ukraine as a showcase for small modular reactor (SMR) “advanced nuclear” technology.

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“..Borrell’s extraordinary Pollyanna-like assertion that in Europe and the West “everything works” and that the “garden” nations are havens of political, economic, and social stability.”

The ‘Garden Vs Jungle’ Worldview Is Not Only Racist, It’s Delusional (Hryce)

[..] let us start with Borrell’s extraordinary Pollyanna-like assertion that in Europe and the West “everything works” and that the “garden” nations are havens of political, economic, and social stability. This pronouncement will no doubt have come as a surprise to many citizens in Europe and the West. Has Borrell not noticed the recent rise of powerful right-wing political movements in a number of European countries? Is he not aware of the recent election results in Italy and Sweden? Have Borrell’s advisors not informed him of the political instability that has engulfed the United Kingdom in recent months, let alone the crisis in democracy that has crippled the United States for the past two years?

Has Borrell not noticed the dramatic recent rise in energy prices; rising inflation; rising interest rates; long-term wage stagnation; and the looming economic recession that is predicted to engulf many Western nations in the near future? Has Borrell not seen the tens of thousands of demonstrators marching in European capital cities in recent months? Is he unaware of the effects that EU austerity programs have had in many of the bloc’s member nations in recent years? Does Borrell really believe that the “garden” nations will sail through the upcoming European winter unscathed?


Has Borrell never heard of the so-called ‘culture wars’? Has he not noticed the collapse of liberal institutions and values throughout the West in recent decades? Has the immigration crisis that has bedevilled Europe in recent years, and has recently engulfed the United Kingdom, not yet been brought to his attention? Borrell, of course, pointedly fails to mention that all of the problems listed above have been severely exacerbated by the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. In fact, Borrell does not seem to appreciate that the increasing political and economic instability within the “garden” nations makes it increasingly difficult – if not impossible – for them to pursue his misguided foreign policy agenda.

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“From Dec. 5, tankers and shipping insurance linked to EU and G7 countries — which dominate oil shipping globally — will be barred from trading Russian crude unless those volumes are sold under the price cap, as yet undetermined.”

Washington Attempts to Bully India into Cutting Ties with Russia (NC)

For months the US has repeatedly tried to coerce India into cutting ties with Russia, thereby abandoning its national interests. New Delhi, however, continues to spurn American attempts to subject its economy to Washington’s dictates. The latest fuss concerns the G7 price cap on Russian oil and EU and UK bans on shipping and related services for Russian crude. India continues to have no interest in joining the US-led initiative as it gets a steep discount on oil from Russia and wants to maintain the relationship with a long-time strategic partner. Indian Foreign Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was just in Moscow on Nov. 8 to discuss continued sales of oil. From the South China Morning Post:

“India’s foreign minister hailed New Delhi’s “strong and steady” relationship with Moscow on Tuesday, during his first visit there since Russia invaded Ukraine in February. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar also declared India’s intention to continue to buy Russian oil, again disregarding the US appeal to allies and partners to isolate Russia from the global markets.” The G-7 plans are likely to send oil prices higher (despite US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen claiming the opposite) and reduce tanker availability, both of which will threaten India’s energy security and hurt its economy as India is the third-largest consumer and importer of oil worldwide. Russia has said it will not sell to any countries that participate in the price cap scheme, and Jaishankar has repeatedly stated that India cannot afford to buy oil at high prices – at least not without undermining its economic growth, which is forecast to be 6.1 percent in 2023, the fastest-growing major economy in the world.

According to Energy Intelligence: “Russia emerged as India’s top crude supplier in October, shipping over 900,000 barrels per day or roughly a fifth of India’s demand. The two countries’ biggest concern is ensuring that Russian oil continues to flow after the Dec. 5 EU and UK bans and related G7 price cap. But despite Jaishankar’s bullish stance in Moscow, India’s state refiners have not placed orders for crude lifting beyond Dec. 5 due to uncertainties about whether shipping and insurance will be available, Energy Intelligence understands. And a recent attempt by an Indian buyer to use the price cap in negotiations with a Russian seller prompted the latter to abandon the deal, market sources said.”


The ongoing lack of clarity on the G-7 could be by design. Russian oil exports have already begun to dip, and Bruce Paulsen, a sanctions expert and partner at law firm Seward & Kissel, told American Shipper, “ If guidance on [price cap] compliance doesn’t come soon, some industry players may sit on the sidelines until they can determine that shipments under the price cap are safe.” The US, in a neat sleight of hand, quit pressuring India to adhere to the price cap, and Yellen now says Washington is “happy” for New Delhi to continue buying as much Russian oil as it wants, including at prices above a G7-imposed price cap. But there are just a few caveats: India wouldn’t be able to use western insurance, finance, or maritime services to transport the oil. “Russia is going to find it very difficult to continue shipping as much oil as they have done when the EU stops buying Russian oil,” Yellen told Reuters on Friday. “They’re going to be heavily in search of buyers, and many buyers are reliant on Western services.”

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You don’t say.

IMF Says Global Economic Outlook Getting ‘Gloomier’ (Az.)

The global economic outlook is even gloomier than projected last month, the International Monetary Fund said on Sunday, citing a steady worsening in purchasing manager surveys in recent months, Reuters reported. It blamed the darker outlook on tightening monetary policy triggered by persistently high and broad-based inflation, weak growth momentum in China, and ongoing supply disruptions and food insecurity caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In a blog prepared for a summit of G20 leaders in Indonesia, the IMF said recent high-frequency indicators “confirm that the outlook is gloomier,” particularly in Europe. It said recent purchasing manager indices that gauge manufacturing and services activity signaled weakness in most Group of 20 major economies, with economic activity set to contract while inflation remained stubbornly high.

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They will simply nominate Putin for the Grinch. Everything that goes wrong with the western world is now exclusively his fault. And they can all hide their failures behind him.

German Retailers Face Nightmare Before Christmas (RT)

Shop owners in Germany are worried about the upcoming Christmas season, expecting a slump in sales in price-adjusted terms, as double-digit inflation driven by energy prices forced people to shop less in the third quarter, the German Retail Association (HDE) says. According to the latest report, sales will face a 4% drop in price-adjusted terms, despite an expected increase by 5.4% year-on-year in nominal terms projected for the last two months of 2022. The association surveyed 500 companies, and 70% of the respondents said they expect worse business conditions in the upcoming Christmas season than last year.


“There is a great deal of uncertainty among both companies and customers in view of the difficult situation with enormous energy price increases. High inflation and poor consumer sentiment do not really bode well for the Christmas season,” HDE Managing Director Stefan Genth said. In October, the German Federal Statistical Office reported that the harmonized inflation rate in Europe’s largest economy climbed to 11.6%, raising fears that the country will slide into a recession this winter.

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To repeat @JordanSchachtel:”Elon is blowing things up at Twitter because it is necessary to save the company. The old Twitter was a state-sponsored propaganda operation. Twitter as a private company will not have the privilege of unlimited resources.”

That is what Musk is up against. And of course the press.

Twitter Starts Massive Reductions In Contractors (RT)

After laying off half its staff earlier this month, Twitter has started culling its vast ranks of contract staff, sources confirmed to Axios, Report informs.Many contractors’ status has been in limbo since Twitter cut half its staff earlier this month, with some not knowing whom to even report to, since their counterparts inside the company have been laid off. Now some worry about their final paychecks since their teams no longer have any full-time Twitter employees to sign off on their time cards, sources tell Axios. The contractor cuts were noted earlier by Platformer’s Casey Newton. In at least some cases, if not all, workers did not get any direct communication from Twitter saying that their work had ended.


They instead found out by seeing their access to Twitter computer systems had been shut off. This parallels the scene when full-time employees found out they had lost their job, not from a promised e-mail on Friday, but overnight on Thursday as they lost access to e-mail and other corporate computing systems. Twitter has since reached out to re-hire some full-time employees after realizing their skills were critical to existing projects, including new features that were a priority to the company.

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“Are you suggesting the senator will abuse his political power to attack me?”

US Senator Threatens Elon Musk (RT)

US Senator Edward Markey has responded to a snarky tweet by Twitter owner Elon Musk by threatening congressional intervention if the billionaire doesn’t “fix” his companies to the lawmaker’s satisfaction. The row began on Friday, when Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, demanded answers from Musk as to how a Washington Post reporter was able to create a verified account on the platform impersonating the senator. “I’m asking for answers from Elon Musk, who is putting profits over people and his debt over stopping disinformation. Twitter must explain how this happened and how to prevent it from happening again.” Musk, who acquired Twitter in a $44 billion takeover that was completed late last month, replied to Markey on Sunday, saying, “Perhaps it is because your real account sounds like a parody.” He posted another tweet asking why Markey’s profile picture shows him wearing a mask.

The Tesla CEO’s flippant response clearly didn’t sit well with the career politician, who warned, “One of your companies is under an FTC consent decree. Auto safety watchdog NHTSA is investigating another for killing people. And you’re spending your time picking fights online. Fix your companies, or Congress will.” Markey’s threat came amid leftist allegations that Musk’s takeover would make Twitter a “direct threat to public safety” by allowing “harmful” content. President Joe Biden, also a Democrat, suggested last week that his administration may need to investigate whether Musk’s cooperation with foreign countries created a “national security threat.”


Reacting to Musk’s spat with Markey, a Democrat activist group called People for Bernie said it was a bad idea for the billionaire to “troll a high-ranking senator with a history of taking down rich people.” Musk replied, “Are you suggesting the senator will abuse his political power to attack me?” Journalist Glenn Greenwald reacted by posting a 2020 clip of Markey calling for increased social media censorship. “Here’s Senator Markey demanding tech companies censor in accordance with his political views, all in the context of his party threatening social media companies with legal and regulatory reprisals if they fail to obey their censorship orders.”

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Just stop the nonsense. We’re tired of it.

COVID-19 Mortality in England ‘Extremely Rare’ Among Under-20s (ET)

Deaths from COVID-19 remain “extremely rare” in people under the age of 20, according to a study of follow-up data in the UK. Between March 2020 and December 2021, while there were 185 deaths in England among children and young people (CYP) within 100 days of a lab-confirmed COVID-19 infection, fewer than half died directly because of the virus, the study found. The peer-reviewed study, published on Nov. 8 on the PLOS Medicine Journal website, was conducted by researchers from the UK’s Health Security Agency (UKHSA). Studying the 22-month follow-up data on all 6,790 under-20s deaths, the team corroborated findings from a number of previous analyses that looked at data from a shorter period of time.

Excluding two stillbirth/intrauterine deaths, 81 (43 percent) deaths were attributed to COVID-19. It accounts for 1.2 percent of all-cause CYP deaths, with a COVID-19 infection fatality rate of 7 per million (using estimated infections number) and an overall mortality rate of 6 per million (estimated CYP population). Of the 81 deaths from COVID-19, one in four (20) were otherwise healthy, while 61 had “significant underlying health conditions,” including neuro-disability, immunocompromising conditions, Down syndrome, Edward syndrome, chronic heart disease, and four premature birth, meaning the COVID-19 mortality rate for otherwise healthy CYP was 1.5 per million. COVID-19 deaths were also clustered among older teens and infants, with more than half (47) occurring among those aged between 16 and 19, and 22 under a year old.


Eight children from the 1- to 4-year-old group died from COVID-19, along with 12 children aged between 5 and 11, and 15 children aged between 12 and 15. More than half (45) of the COVID-19 deaths occurred when the Delta variant of the novel coronavirus was dominant, while 21 died during the wild-type-dominant period, and 15 died during the Alpha wave. But the Delta variant was the least deadly in terms of infection mortality rate (6 per million) compared to Alpha (8 per million), and the wild-type (10 per million) as it was more infectious than the previous variants. The Omicron variant, which became dominant this year, wasn’t included in the study. Dr. Shamez Ladhani, pediatric infectious disease consultant at St. George’s Hospital London and consultant epidemiologist at the UKHSA who co-authored the study, told The Telegraph that “emerging data suggest that the Omicron variant is even less fatal in children compared to previous variants.”

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Fitts

 

 

 

 

 

 

Burzinsky

 

 

 

 

 

 

Support the Automatic Earth in virustime with Paypal, Bitcoin and Patreon.

 

 

 

 

 

Nov 132022
 
 November 13, 2022  Posted by at 9:54 am Finance Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,  50 Responses »


Salvador Dali The three pines 1919

 

UK and EU To Try To Isolate Russia At G20 Summit (RT)
The New Candidate Countries For BRICS Expansion (SRB)
Surovikin’s Difficult Choice (Big Serge)
Tens of Billions Transferred to Ukraine and Laundered Through FTX (GP)
The FTX-Alameda Nexus (Coppola)
Up To $2 Billion In Client Money Missing In Crypto Giant FTX Collapse (NYP)
First Batch Of Blocked Russian Fertilizers Allowed To Leave EU Port (RT)
Showdown Slow Down (Jim Kunstler)
Crrraaaazy Wally -Street, That Is- (Denninger)
Ports Clogged With Containers As World Trade Stumbles (ZH)
Developing Nations Demand Rich Countries Pay For Climate Change (RT)
US Intel Report Vilifies Key Ally UAE – WaPo (RT)
La Scala Replies To Call To ‘Cancel’ Russian Composers (RT)
Elon Musk In Court Over $56 Billion Tesla Bonus (Telegraaf)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who will be isolated? The collective west.

UK and EU To Try To Isolate Russia At G20 Summit (RT)

The UK and the EU intend to coordinate their efforts and do “everything possible” to make the Russian delegation feel unwelcome at the upcoming G20 summit in Indonesia’s Bali, a British media outlet has claimed. The Telegraph pointed out, however, that China, and possibly several other key players, is highly unlikely to follow suit. “We try to work with partners in order to show very, very, very firmly what the international community thinks about all these crimes, atrocities, and illegal actions by Russia,” a spokesperson for the EU’s foreign affairs service told the paper. The spokesperson explained that the bloc, together with the UK, will not only shun Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and stage walkouts during addresses by Moscow’s delegation, but also try to convince other nations to do the same.

According to the anonymous official, while the “UK is not keen on coordinating with the EU on foreign policy in general,” the concerted efforts to isolate Russia have proven to be an exception, as London and Brussels “have the same objective.” The report also quoted a French government source as saying that the meeting in Bali will not be “business as usual” and will center on the Ukraine conflict. “There will be a coalition and Russia is isolated,” the official concluded. The article noted, however, that the total isolation of Russia at the event is unlikely, as the country enjoys close relations with China. One unnamed EU official told the paper that Moscow and Beijing are expected to water down any joint statement calling for de-escalation in Ukraine.

The report also suggested that the likes of India, Saudi Arabia and Türkiye, which have not joined Western sanctions against Moscow, could break ranks with the EU and UK this time as well. Relations between Moscow and the West have hit an all-time low in the wake of the Russian military operation in Ukraine. However, Moscow has insisted that any attempts to isolate the country will fail. The key organizations that Russia is part of, such as BRICS, are also expanding. In fact, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa revealed following a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last month that Riyadh would like to join BRICS, which currently comprises Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa. On top of that, media reports claimed back in July that Türkiye and Egypt might also be interested. Since the start of the year three countries – Iran, Argentina, and Algeria – have officially applied to join BRICS.

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I’d say the list is pretty much endless. Once you have South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt and Senegal, all African countries will want to join. Same in South America, Asia.

The New Candidate Countries For BRICS Expansion (SRB)

The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov has stated that ‘over a dozen’ countries have formally applied to join the BRICS grouping following the groups decision to allow new members earlier this year. The BRICS currently includes Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. It is not a free trade bloc, but members do coordinate on trade matters and have established a policy bank, the New Development Bank, (NDB) to coordinate infrastructure loans. That was set up in 2014 in order to provide alternative loan mechanisms from the IMF and World Bank structures, which the members had felt had become too US-centric.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) was set up by China at about the same time for largely the same reasons and to offer alternative financing than that provided by the IMF and World Banks, which were felt to impose political reform policies designed to assist the United States in return for providing loans. Both the NDB and AIIB banks are Triple A rated and capitalised at US$100 billion. The NDB bank shares are held equally by each of the five members. In total, the BRICS grouping as it currently stands accounts for over 40% of the global population and nearly a quarter of the world’s GDP. The GDP figure is expected to double to 50% of global GDP by 2030. Expanding BRICS will immediately accelerate that process.

Concerning a BRICS expansion, Lavrov stated that Algeria, Argentina, and Iran had all applied, while it is already known that Saudi Arabia, Türkiye, Egypt and Afghanistan are interested, along with Indonesia, which is expected to make a formal application to join at the upcoming G20 summit in Bali. Other likely contenders for membership include Kazakhstan, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Senegal, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates. All had their Finance Ministers present at the BRICS Expansion dialogue meeting held in May. We can examine the basic economic data of the proposed new BRICS members as follows. GDP figures given are nominal, 2022 growth rates are based on the first 9 months of the year from data issued by the respective Central Banks.

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Not fully convinced.

Surovikin’s Difficult Choice (Big Serge)

Here is what I think Surovikin decided about Kherson. Kherson was becoming an inefficient front for Russia because of the logistical strain of supplying forces across the river with limited bridge and road capacity. Russia demonstrated that it was capable of shouldering this sustainment burden (keeping troops supplied all through Ukraine’s summer offensives), but the question becomes 1) to what purpose, and 2) for how long. Ideally, the bridgehead becomes the launching point for offensive action against Nikolayev, but launching an offensive would require strengthening the force grouping in Kherson, which correspondingly raises the logistical burden of projecting force across the river. With a very long front to play with, Kherson is clearly one of the most logistically intensive axes.

My guess is that Surovikin took charge and almost immediately decided he did not want to increase the sustainment burden by trying to push on Nikolayev. Therefore, if an offensive is not going to be launched from the Kherson position, the question becomes – why hold the position at all? Politically, it is important to defend a regional capital, but militarily the position becomes meaningless if one is not going to go on the offensive in the south. Let’s be even more explicit: unless an offensive towards Nikolayev is planned, the Kherson bridgehead is militarily counterproductive. While holding the bridgehead in Kherson, the Dnieper River becomes a negative force multiplier – increasing the sustainment and logistics burden and ever threatening to leave forces cut off if Ukraine succeeds in destroying the bridges or bursting the dam.

Projecting force across the river becomes a heavy burden with no obvious benefit. But by withdrawing to the east bank, the river becomes a positive force multiplier by serving as a defensive barrier. In the broader operational sense, Surovikin seems to be declining battle in the south while preparing in the north and in the Donbas. It is clear that he made this decision shortly after taking command of the operation – he has been hinting at it for weeks, and the speed and cleanliness of the withdrawal suggests that it was well planned , long in advance. Withdrawing across the river increases the combat effectiveness of the army significantly and decreases the logistical burden, freeing resources for other sectors. This fits the overall Russian pattern of making harsh choices about resource allocation, fighting this war under the simple framework of optimizing the loss ratios and building the perfect meatgrinder.

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Money Laundering 101.
1. Foreign aid goes to Ukraine.
2. Ukraine invests in $FTX
3. $FTX donates back to the Democratic Party.

Tens of Billions Transferred to Ukraine and Laundered Through FTX (GP)

We have information that the tens of billions of dollars going to Ukraine were actually laundered back to the US to corrupt Democrats and elites using FTX cryptocurrency. Now the money is gone and FTX is bankrupt. Earlier today we reported that the FTX cryptocurrency appeared to be used in a ponzi scheme involving the Democrats and Ukraine. As reported earlier, the FTX crypto company gave at least $40 million to Democrat candidates and causes in the midterms. Sam Bankman-Fried is Biden’s second biggest donor. In addition to this, Daily Caller lists many of the lawmakers who Sam Bankman Fried was bankrolling who oversaw the institution that was supposed to keep on eye on companies like FTX:

“Sam Bankman-Fried, prolific Democratic donor and ex-CEO of now-bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange FTX, funded the campaigns of members of Congress overseeing the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), one of the key bodies tasked with regulating the crypto industry and the subject of Bankman-Fried’s aggressive lobbying. Bankman-Fried’s FTX is currently under investigation by the CFTC and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) after Bankman-Fried allegedly moved $10 billion in client assets from his crypto exchange to his trading firm Alameda Research, and a liquidity crisis at his exchange which prompted the company to file for bankruptcy. However, prior to the agency’s probe, Bankman-Fried aggressively courted the CFTC – and funded several key lawmakers charged with overseeing the agency, pouring cash into their campaign coffers.”

FTX also happens to be related to Ukraine. The far-left Washington Post reported on March 3 that Ukraine was dealing in crypto. “The Ukrainian government has gathered more than $42 million in cryptocurrency donations since Saturday, plus digital artwork including a limited edition worth roughly $200,000, according to blockchain analytics firm Elliptic. The challenge is how the country cashes in on these assets to fund its war needs.” Then less than a week later FTX made the news for involving itself in Ukraine: “Amid the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the CEO of FTX, Sam Bankman Fried has come forward to help a crypto donation project. He humbly announced that FTX will be supporting the Ukrainian Ministry of Finance and other communities in collecting crypto donations for the country. The Ukrainian government has received over $60 million in crypto donations from all over the world.”

“FTX’s CEO, Sam Bankman Fried highlighted that the war in Ukraine has been dragging on. The country is in full need of humanitarian help and access to global financial infrastructure. He also called attention to sanctions and crypto during this kind of situation. He indicated that crypto exchanges should enforce sanctions announced by the government seriously. FTX has stressed across all of its regulatory and policy efforts, active coordination and communication with regulators and policymakers is crucial to ensuring that laws and rules achieve their intended outcome, reads a letter by FTXPointing out the urgency to help the nation Sam Bankman announced that the FTX team is honored to support the Ukrainian Ministry of Finance in simplifying the donation process.”

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Create you own token… “Customer assets deposited on the exchange are routinely lent to the hedge fund against collateral consisting of the exchange’s tokens.”

The FTX-Alameda Nexus (Coppola)

The young, dynamic, ambitious owner of a crypto hedge fund – let’s call him “Joe” – sets up a crypto exchange. To start with, this just enables his hedge fund can trade without having to pay margin or exchange fees. But Joe has larger ambitions. He wants to run the biggest and best exchange in the world. And he wants to make money from it. Lots and lots of money. Trillions of dollars, in fact. Now, his hedge fund can make money by taking risky leveraged positions, but it has to raise funds, and that’s not cheap. And his exchange can make money by charging fees on transactions, but although that can be a nice slow steady income, it’s not going to make him the trillions of dollars he wants.

But Joe’s spotted an opportunity. The exchange has lots of customer assets that aren’t earning anything. If he puts those customer assets to work, he can earn far more from his exchange customers. And he’s got an obvious vehicle through which to put them to work. The hedge fund. If he transfers customer assets on the exchange to the hedge fund, it can lend or pledge them at risk to earn megabucks. Of course, there’s a risk that the hedge fund could lose some or all of the customers’ funds. And the exchange promises that customers can have their assets back on demand, which could be a trifle problematic if they are locked up in leveraged positions held by the hedge fund. But this is crypto. There’s an easy solution. The exchange can issue its own token to replace the customer assets transferred to the hedge fund.

The exchange will report customer balances in terms of the assets they have deposited, but what it will actually hold will be its own token. If customers request to withdraw their balances, the exchange will sell its own tokens to obtain the necessary assets – after all, crypto assets, like dollars, are fungible. For this to work, however, the token must reliably hold its value. So the exchange creates more of the tokens than are needed to replace customer balances, and the hedge fund actively buys and sells them on the exchange, thus creating a market in the things and pumping the price. The price rockets, inflating the balance sheets of both the hedge fund and the exchange, and making $billions in unrealised profits for Joe and his investors – of whom there are suddenly a whole lot more, including some exceedingly respectable institutional investors.

It works brilliantly. So, this becomes Joe’s business model. Customer assets deposited on the exchange are routinely lent to the hedge fund against collateral consisting of the exchange’s tokens. There’s a massive and growing mismatch between the asset balances reported to customers on the exchange and the assets the exchange actually holds. But it doesn’t matter, because the token is highly liquid and the value of the tokens pledged as collateral comfortably exceeds the value of the missing customer assets. And the exchange can easily honour all withdrawal requests by trading out its own tokens. Indeed, the tokens are doing so well that even when the hedge fund suffers serious losses in a crypto crash, the exchange is able to bail it out. It’s completely self-sustaining. That is, until the token’s value crashes.

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“SBF and two FTX associates are currently being detained by authorities in the Bahamas, a source tells Cointelegraph..”

Up To $2 Billion In Client Money Missing In Crypto Giant FTX Collapse (NYP)

At least $1 billion of customer funds — and possibly as much as $2 billion — have gone missing in the implosion of the crypto currency exchange FTX, according to reports. FTX’s flamboyant founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, known in the industry as “SBF,” secretly funneled $10 billion of customer funds into his trading company, Alameda Research, sources told two media outlets. Alameda Research is run by Bankman-Fried’s girlfriend, Caroline Ellison. Two senior FTX officials claimed they saw the evidence that the money was missing in copies of financial records Bankman-Fried shared with company executives last week, according to Reuters.


On Friday, Bankman-Fried stepped down from his CEO position as the Bahamas-based FTX filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, after scrambling to shore up an $8 billion liquidity crisis that has left investors unable to claim their funds. A bid to save FTX via a rescue deal with rival exchange Binance didn’t work out, leading to crypto’s highest-profile collapse in recent years. In text messages to Reuters, Bankman-Fried, one of the largest donors to the Democratic Party, said he “disagreed with the characterization” of the $10 billion transfer. “We didn’t secretly transfer,” he said. “We had confusing internal labeling and misread it,” he added, without elaborating. “???” was Bankman-Fried’s response, when asked about the missing cash.

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“In September, he said that Russia was prepared to give these fertilizers to developing nations free of charge.”

So yeah, let’s block it for months…

First Batch Of Blocked Russian Fertilizers Allowed To Leave EU Port (RT)

The first batch of Russian fertilizers, which have been blocked at EU ports amid Ukraine-related sanctions, has been given permission to leave next week, the UN announced on Friday. The cargo amounts to 20,000 tons and is currently stationed in the Dutch port of Rotterdam. It is destined for the African nation of Malawi under the UN World Food Program. “The UN also briefed on recently issued General Licenses and shipments of fertilizer to developing countries’ destinations and its ongoing engagement with private sector and member states. It is anticipated that the first shipment of donated fertilizers will depart for Malawi in the coming week,” the UN said in a statement released after a meeting between senior UN officials and a Russian delegation led by Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Vershinin on Friday.

The meeting centered on Russia’s continued dissatisfaction with UN efforts to lift Western sanctions that pose problems for Russia’s agricultural exports. The organization pledged to assist Russia in the matter back in July as part of a UN-brokered Ukrainian grain deal, which unblocked the export of food and fertilizers from several Black Sea ports. Russia said it may choose not to extend its participation in the deal, which is set to expire on November 19, if the UN does not follow through on its promises regarding Russian exports. On Friday, the Dutch government confirmed that the Russian fertilizer cargo has been given permission to leave the port on the UN’s request. “The decision to release the fertilizer was made on the understanding that the UN would ensure that it is delivered to the agreed location, Malawi, and that the Russian company and sanctioned individual will earn nothing from the transaction,” the Dutch Foreign Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

It did not disclose the name of the Russian company that owns the shipment. Earlier this month, however, TASS news agency reported that Russian fertilizer producer Uralchem-Uralkali was ready to donate 240,000 tons of its fertilizers stuck in EU warehouses for humanitarian purposes, with the first shipment destined for Malawi. Prior to this, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that a total of 300,000 tons of Russian fertilizers were stuck at EU ports due to Western sanctions. In September, he said that Russia was prepared to give these fertilizers to developing nations free of charge.

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“The opponents of Progressive-Woke-Jacobinism don’t need a circus ringmaster. They need a credible leader, especially one that can manage his or her emotions at least as well as Vladimir Putin does.”

Showdown Slow Down (Jim Kunstler)

The basic Democratic Party election strategy in recent decades has been to turn the voting public into so many millions of proverbial froggies in the pot of water set to slowly rise to boiling so that the froggies don’t notice they’re getting cooked until it’s too late to jump out of the pot. The Democrat’s Lawfare soldiers have slowly and systematically changed the methods of voting and counting the votes, especially to eliminate accountability for the massive scams and screw-ups that have occurred recently. The changes have been accepted as normal. One insidious change was shutting down the small local precinct polling places in churches and schools, where it was easy to get in, get your signature checked, and vote on-site, and where the precinct captains and workers were known and accountable to voters in the neighborhood.

Instead, Lawfare got states to consolidate all the action in huge impersonal voting centers — often sports arenas — where hundreds of election workers churned, and all sorts of frauds went unnoticed in the enormous shuffle of activity. It was also harder to get in and vote at such a giant venue on game day when thousands showed up and long lines formed — which made it easier for interested parties to justify the expansion of mail-in balloting. It’s just possible that Covid-19 was introduced in 2020 to make sure that Election Day in-person voting would look hazardous, with mail-ins becoming the dominant method. It sure helped get rid of Donald Trump.Among the conclusions of the 2005 Commission on Federal Election Reform, co-chaired by (Democratic) former president Carter and (Republican) former Secretary of State James Baker, was that mail-in voting is the easiest way to invite cheating and fraud.

Apparently, no one listened except Lawfare’s Marc Elias, who saw that as a good thing. What we got starting in 2020 and continuing today are the creative refinements of that, as fraudsters apply their zillions of dollars to new ways of stealing elections — as Mark Zuckerberg did in Wisconsin, literally switching out local election officials with Democratic Party activists. Then there are the as-yet-unresolved issues with the Dominion voting machines and their software. Are the machines enabled to hook into the internet? It seems to me that this has been proven. Why is it so hard to admit that these machines are janky and unnecessary? A thousand voices have pointed out that many other nations, France, for instance, use only paper ballots and manage to report the election results the night of.

Arizona is a whole helluva lot smaller than France, and even Florida, which thoroughly reformed its election laws under Governor DeSantis and published the midterm results the same night. Speaking of Mr. DeSantis and Mr. Trump, the ex-President has been verbally laying into the Florida governor so viciously lately that he might have made a fatal error in his quest for electoral redemption. The opponents of Progressive-Woke-Jacobinism don’t need a circus ringmaster. They need a credible leader, especially one that can manage his or her emotions at least as well as Vladimir Putin does.

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“Anyone who thinks The Fed can ignore 32.6% of spending in the economy has rocks in their head..”

Crrraaaazy Wally -Street, That Is- (Denninger)

We call it…. “crazy Ivan” – Hunt for Red October. Except this is November, and the crazy came out of the CPI report. The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) rose 0.4 percent in October on a seasonally adjusted basis, the same increase as in September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 7.7 percent before seasonal adjustment. The index for shelter contributed over half of the monthly all items increase, with the indexes for gasoline and food also increasing. If you were short into this there was no getting away from what went up your backside; a literal 100 handles went into the Spoos within seconds and I’m quite sure if you’d been short you would have been gapped over, so a stop would have gotten you exactly no protection.

The problem in the “better than expected” report is in that bolded line and in fact that’s a high going back all the way through April on a seasonally-adjusted basis. Food away from home also was up at the seasonally-adjusted high, where it has been for the last three months sequentially, so there’s no love there either. Note that the latter is often subject to fairly long supply lines and contracts which delay the impact of movement both ways, and thus that it is lagging is no big shock. Food at bars and restaurants has been up less than food at home over the last 12 months and thus you can expect it to continue hitting the index for quite some time yet. The 900lb Gorilla in the room this month is fuel oil, which is, as many people do not know, #2 diesel.

It was up a stunning 19.8% on the month and stands at 68.5% up from last year this time. Anyone expecting the consumer experience to improve with that record has rocks in their head, never mind those who use it for heating that are about to get a visit from the proctologist this winter. Incidentally if you are one of them and your supplier is screwing you on price go to a truck stop (or any rural fuel place that sells to farmers for off-road use) and bring jerry cans. They sell dyed fuel for use in the refer units. Its the same thing and if its cheaper to buy it there than pay whatever the guy with the truck wants to bring it to the house your decision should be obvious. Piped gas relaxed some, which is good news if you use it, but its still up 20% on the year.

A huge percentage of people use that for heat, so there you go. Oh, and guess what is used to generate electrical power? Uh huh, which is why electricity is up 14.1% on the year. If you remember me talking about “Owner’s Equivalent Rent” and how it falsely stated that there was no inflation while home prices shot the moon you can see the inverse of that right now in the OER number which is up 6.9% on the year. That which held down inflation figures for years is now going to prop them up for years, like it or not. There is no evidence that rents, on the other hand, is relaxing at all. Anyone who thinks The Fed can ignore 32.6% of spending in the economy has rocks in their head; they most-certainly will not, and that’s what shelter comprises. Annualized its up 6.9% so no, we’re not “winning” on inflation.

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“Global trade is moving backwards this year..”

Ports Clogged With Containers As World Trade Stumbles (ZH)

The latest Bloomberg Trade Tracker reveals an ominous outlook for world trade due to soaring interest rates, the war in Ukraine, a slowdown in the US economy, and zero Covid in China. A shortage of containers has entirely reversed into a glut as crashing shipping rates and canceled sails gain momentum during what is supposed to be the busiest shipping period of the year. “The world’s two biggest economies are feeling glum about the export outlook, with both the US and China gauges in contraction in October and the American one in “below-normal” range on the Tracker,” according to Bloomberg. Earlier this week, we explained that economic storm clouds are gathering worldwide as some of the largest shipping companies warn about decelerating global trade.


US shipper FedEx and Danish shipping giant A.P. Moller-Maersk A/S have been vocal about emerging signs of a global slowdown. “Global trade is moving backwards this year,” Maersk’s chief executive officer Soren Skou told Bloomberg Television at the start of November. FedEx CFO Michael Lenz told an audience Tuesday at the Robert W Baird Global Industrial Conference earlier this week that his company parked planes cut costs in response to weak demand for package delivery. The Covid boom for goods has evaporated. Consumers have switched from buying computers and television to spending whatever money they have left on experiences. We predict in May that an inventory glut, i.e., the reverse bullwhip effect, would cool the booming freight market. It’s now peak shipping season — retailers have already canceled overseas orders as freight companies reduce shipping capacity ahead of Black Friday and Christmas.

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Yeah, but we’re broke…

Developing Nations Demand Rich Countries Pay For Climate Change (RT)

Leaders from developing countries have accused wealthy nations and the energy industry of triggering climate change and demanded compensation for the damage it has inflicted on their economies. While oil and gas companies are reaping the benefits, small island states are being devastated by ocean storms caused by rising sea levels, they say. Speaking at the COP27 climate summit in Egypt on Tuesday, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne noted that “oil and gas industry continues to earn almost $3 billion daily in profits,” while “the planet is burning.” “It is about time that these companies are made to pay a global carbon tax on their profits as a source of funding for loss and damage,” Browne added.

Poor nations point at the hypocrisy of their wealthier counterparts, which are the most vocal advocates of slashing emissions while themselves being the biggest polluters following a century of fossil fuel-driven industrialization. Developing countries are now asking how they will be compensated for the floods and droughts attributed to climate change. “I’m not here to ask any of you to love the people of my country with the same passion as I do,” said the prime minister of the Bahamas, Philip Davis. “I’m asking what is it worth to you to have millions of climate refugees to turn into tens of millions, putting pressure on political and economic systems around the world.”

Meanwhile, Senegalese President Macky Sall admitted that his country’s economy is unable to shift away from fossil fuels immediately but said that poorer developing countries in Africa needed increased funding from wealthy nations in order to adapt to the worsening climate. “Let’s be clear, we are in favor of reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. But we Africans cannot accept that our vital interests be ignored,” he said.

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Saudi, Iran, now UAE. No many US friends left.

US Intel Report Vilifies Key Ally UAE – WaPo (RT)

The United Arab Emirates, arguably one of Washington’s most trusted Arab allies, has gamed US foreign policy by meddling in the American political system using both legal and illegal tactics, intelligence officials have reportedly claimed in a classified report. The activities in question spanned multiple US administrations and exploited “vulnerabilities” in the American system, including reliance on political contributions and lax enforcement of laws designed to protect against foreign interference, the Washington Post reported on Saturday. Some of the tactics “resemble espionage,” the newspaper added, citing three unidentified sources who have seen the classified report.

The report illustrates how the US political system is being distorted by foreign money, one Washington lawmaker told the Post, arguing that a “very clear red line needs to be established against the UAE playing in American politics. I’m not convinced we’ve ever raised this with the Emiratis at a high level.” Top US policymakers allegedly received briefings on the classified intelligence report in recent weeks. It’s an unusual advisory for US intelligence agencies to issue because it pertains to a close ally – rather than an adversary, such as Russia, China or Iran – and could be interpreted as delving into domestic politics, said Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador to Washington, defended the oil-rich nation’s outsized influence in the US. “It has been hard-earned and well-deserved,” he told the Post.

“It is the product of decades of close UAE-US cooperation and effective diplomacy. It reflects common interests and shared values.” The UAE has spent more than $154 million on lobbyists since 2016, according to US government records, as well as hundreds of millions of dollars that were donated to American colleges and think tanks. Many of those institutions have produced policy papers with recommendations that are favorable to UAE interests. Those investments have apparently been fruitful, as Washington has approved sales of some of the most advanced US-made weaponry, including MQ-9 Predator drones and F-35 fighter jets, to the UAE. No other Arab nation has been afforded such privileges because US leaders have sought to avoid “diminishing Israel’s qualitative military edge” in the Middle East, the Post said.

Bordering Saudi Arabia to the southwest and Oman to the east, oil-rich UAE is a member of OPEC. Around 2,000 US soldiers and airmen are stationed at Abu Dhabi’s al-Dhafra airbase, and both countries supported Saudi Arabia’s war against the Houthis in Yemen, though the Pentagon ceased supporting “offensive” operations there in 2021, and the UAE withdrew its ground troops in early 2020. In early August, Washington authorized a $2.2 billion sale of 96 Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system missiles, to help Abu Dhabi repel possible ballistic missile threats in the region. However, after OPEC+ members announced their decision to cut oil production last month, multiple US lawmakers accused Washington’s allies of “siding with Russia” and proposed withdrawing troops and missile defense systems from both UAE and Saudi Arabia as a punishment.

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“..discarding the works of Mussorgsky or poet and novelist Alexander Pushkin would be like discarding the works of Shakespeare or Dante..”

La Scala Replies To Call To ‘Cancel’ Russian Composers (RT)

Italy’s famed La Scala theater in Milan has insisted that Russian culture should not be “penalized” because of the military operation against Kiev. It defended its decision to include the works of Russian composers in its newest program after a Ukrainian consul called them instruments of Moscow’s propaganda campaign. According to Italian news agency ANSA, Andrey Kartysh, Ukraine’s consul general in Milan, sent a letter to La Scala CEO Dominique Meyer, as well as Milan Mayor Giuseppe Sala and the head of the Lombardy region, Attilio Fontana, asking to “review” its program for the 2022-2023 season in order to avoid “potential elements of propaganda.” The diplomat cited the “great disappointment and regret” of the Ukrainian community in Italy.

“Culture is being used by the Russian Federation to lend weight to its assertions of greatness and power,” he wrote, arguing that “the pandering to its propaganda can only fuel the image of the regime [in Moscow] and, by extension, its evil ambitions and countless crimes.” La Scala plans to kick off its newest season on December 7 with the opera ‘Boris Godunov’ by 19th-century Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky. The opera is about a Russian tsar who ruled during the Time of Trouble, a period of political upheaval and turbulence in early 17th century Russia. The program also includes ‘The Nutcracker’ ballet, whose score was written by Pyotr Tchaikovsky, and a recital by Russian soprano Anna Netrebko. La Scala Music Director Riccardo Chailly defended the decision to show ‘Boris Godunov’ on stage.

“To remove a masterpiece… is to penalize the culture,” he argued, as quoted by the newspaper Corriere della Sera on Saturday. “Art should not pay for the havoc of what has been happening after February 24,” Chailly said, referring to the date that Russia launched its military operation in the neighboring state. He added that discarding the works of Mussorgsky or poet and novelist Alexander Pushkin would be like discarding the works of Shakespeare or Dante. Chailly noted that the opera house expressed support for Ukraine early on in the conflict and raised €380,000 for Ukrainian refugees in April. Stage director Francesco Micheli, who sits on La Scala’s governing board, called the Ukrainian consul general’s request “reckless,” saying that he “ignores that the opera has no connection with the situation” in his home country. “I think La Scala sees the program as a way to show the unifying value of culture. That is why La Scala should be praised,” Italian Under Secretary of State for Culture Vittorio Sgarbi said.

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Google translation.

Looks like the “thrash metal drummer” is being used by much bigger parties. But Musk made a lot of people a lot of money, and “the proposal has been passed by a large majority by Tesla shareholders.”

Still, lawyers are looking at large fees, so they continue.

@JordanSchachtel:”Elon is blowing things up at Twitter because it is necessary to save the company. The old Twitter was a state-sponsored propaganda operation. Twitter as a private company will not have the privilege of unlimited resources.”

Elon Musk In Court Over $56 Billion Tesla Bonus (Telegraaf)

Elon Musk has to defend a billion-dollar bonus in a US court on Monday that was promised to him a few years ago at Tesla. That bonus could be so high that the Tesla CEO could recoup the entire $44 billion he recently invested in the Twitter acquisition. Musk was promised a package of stock options in 2018 if he could achieve certain goals with Tesla. Since then, Tesla’s stock price has increased more than tenfold and the company was briefly worth more than 1000 billion dollars. According to calculations, Musk could make up to $56 billion. The controversial package allows him to buy 1 percent of Tesla’s shares at a big discount every time certain targets are reached. Richard Tornetta, a small Tesla investor, thought the bonus was excessive and filed a lawsuit as early as 2018. At the time, there was immediately a lot of speculation that the Tesla stock price could rise to great heights.


Tornetta, who is also a thrash metal drummer and runs an audio equipment company, also finds it unfair that Musk was awarded the remuneration of a board that would actually be completely under his control. One of the directors involved was Kimbal Musk, the brother of the richest man in the world. Yet the matter is not so simple. Musk’s lawyers have pointed out that the proposal has been passed by a large majority by Tesla shareholders. Because of the bonus, Musk would have been focused on making Tesla better. And this is said to be the reason why the share price has soared, which is in the interest of all shareholders. The case is being heard in the state of Delaware by the same judge who recently dealt with the case between Twitter and Musk to force the latter to go through with its takeover plan.

Read more …

 

 

 

 

 

Cobalt

 

 

 

 

 

 

Landing

 

 

 

 

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Nov 122022
 



Ivan Aivazovsky Palace rains in Venice by moonlight 1878

 

 

Me, personally, I can’t get rid of the notion that all the stablecoins and shitcoins and altcoins that have been initiated and “legalized”, are just a way of “shining” bitcoin in a light of uninvestable darkness. And for that, a bunch of “trading places” (pun intended) were called for. One of the biggest, FTX, just went from $32 billion to $0 in a single day. Not even Enron could beat that.

Dr. D., yes him again, ties together an interesting history behind it. Which in turn ties into the DNC too. And Dr. D. doesn’t even mention yet that just this morning, FDX claimed they were hacked: “FTX Possibly Hacked, $895m Drained From Customer Wallets.” Should I believe that? How do you drain $895m out of $0?

“Early Saturday morning, Mr Bankman-Fried resigned as chief executive officer and FTX commenced Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings due to a massive liquidity crunch. A rescue deal with rival exchange Binance fell through earlier this week, precipitating crypto’s highest-profile collapse in recent years. Mr Bankman-Fried’s quant trading business (aka quantitative cryptocurrency trading firm) Alameda Research has also filed for bankruptcy.”

Here’s thinking that the DNC links will sink this as a story. Bankman-Fried will be renditioned to Barbados -or Gitmo-, and we all live happily ever after. Except for those who put their money into FTX. But then, what were they thinking in the first place? Crazy thought: was Hunter Biden a investor? Or The Big Guy?

 

 

Dr. D.: We really need to keep a rogue’s gallery. It’s like Dick Tracy and Batman. Bernie Made Off. Mr. Kash-n-Karry. Sam the Bank Man, Fried. You can’t make this up.

Am I hearing this right, FTX was invented 16 days after the Biden Campaign? In a foreign nation not of his birth or residency, the Bahamas? His mother is involved with Vote Blue and other DNC money people? Then within a month or two, Sam has made so many billions he was the single largest donor to Biden? With this A-Mazing multi-billion influx that come out of nowhere? But everybody, all the “good” people instantly and telepathically KNEW they had, HAD to invest there? People like the Teacher’s Union?

And other exchanges knew they needed to invest too! Like Citi just KNEW the best investment was to buy Morgan stock, to give money, capital, to their direct competition. Really? When does it happen that Home Depot’s top investment is Lowes?

And how did “all the ‘right’ people” know to invest? Well The Bank Man was hanging out in a group house,coding away like any college kids! Financial knowledge, level = pizza. Give this man $10,000,000,000.00!!! Shut up and take my money! Why? Um, well, it seems Bank Man is related not only to DNC funding and the Biden administration, but also to Gary Gensler, the proposed and self-styled REGULATOR of all Crypto. The one who tied up Morgan, Barclays, BoA’s co-project XRP and has frozen it in the courts, unresolved, for YEARS? Who, so it would seem, would like to take down not just XRP but the entire Crypto world as a concept and going concern? A competition to his backers in Stocks and Banking?

So all the kids of all the Regulators, politicians, bankers, insiders, all HAPPEN to be involved in what may be the biggest money laundering, heist, and political funneling operation maybe ever? Where’d the Pension money of the Teacher’s Union go? Where go? It was there, an “Exchange” takes a FEE for each transaction. Your MONEY, like SIPC, is YOURS. It’s your account, your trades. They just facilitate them. It’s a money-minting machine, no need for leverage.

But like MF Global, they just took ALL the money in ALL the accounts and put it in their own? On day 1? AND all the money from “the Usual Suspects”, SoftBank, Pardigm, Sequoia? Their own co-company Alameda, and another largest insider scam ever called “Tether”? Tether being another insider-of-insiders, convicted felons, law-never-touches group like EOS (? check me?) was?

Yes. That’s not an accident, that’s not a blow up, that’s not an over leverage, that’s pre-meditated THEFT. Arranged by Gary Gensler, DNC, and other insiders. From day 1, since they haven’t been around long enough to slowly drift into danger. They were invented yesterday.

So if you wonder where the Ukraine money is going, to be back-laundered into the midterms, BY the same party GIVING Ukraine the money, here you go.

Says the Sam: “Oops. Sorry. I f—ked up. I should have done better.” Oh, in that case, well I guess no problem! We won’t look into your extensive, amazing, and some might say “unbelievable” list of insiders, contacts, and arrangers. All of whose money was stolen more or less the instant it hit your books. As one big amazing “accident.”

I’m sure the media will cover all this shortly because of the salacious names and DNC careers involved. NOT.

Okay, given this, who blew the whistle on them? This scam was going perfectly: who blew it? The GOP’s like-kind fund? But after the election, not before? Powell? Was it really organic ponzi and they just don’t care, didn’t even try to cover it? Who?

And it’s not the “Money”. They can print the money. You know what they can’t print? ETH. BTC. So when you’re an exchange and scalp coins as they fly across your books, and when you vanish, where’s the money, but more importantly, WHERE ARE THE COINS?

Why? Because you need ACTUAL coins to manipulate the market. You can get a run started, it’ll blow the stops and start a cascade collapse, but to get it started, you have to have an ACTUAL ante of ACTUAL product. That’s the cost of manipulation. And the blow up of FTX means someone, these same insiders who wish to halt and/or destroy all crypto as a concept, have the nuclear pre-charge somewhere to make a run on the markets.

 

 

 

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